A new report by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation shows that Miami leads the nation in reports of fraudsters offering mortgage modification scams, The Miami Herald reports.
Many homeowners are struggling to get by and are worried that because their Miami homes are upside down in value after the Great Recession, they don't know where to turn next. Miami Foreclosure Lawyers urge homeowners to contact them before they try to work with a mortgage modification company.
Some of these companies simply make promises of helping desperate homeowners modify their loans without any power to make it happen. Homeowners can be left with less money and no real change to their loan. Hiring an experienced foreclosure attorney in Miami would allow the homeowner to use the law and the court system to try to modify a loan rather than a company that may not have any luck simply picking up the phone and calling the bank.
The Herald story found that Miami leads other cities, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago in terms of reported mortgage modification scams. Racial and ethnic minorities were particularly susceptible to the scams, accounting for more than half of all complaints.
The study was conducted by Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a Minnesota-based non-profit group that offers a counseling service for homeowners.
Florida has the nation's second-highest proportion of mortgage scam complaints, accounting for 7 percent of the country's scams. California led the country with 22 percent. A Florida law passed in 2008 made it illegal for companies offering mortgage modification help to charge homeowners upfront. A Federal Trade Commission proposed rule last year did basically the same thing. The Florida Attorney General's Office received 2,500 complaints last year and is investigating 70 companies.
Many homeowners are duped into using these services because they guarantee help with your loan and make promises that if you just pay a certain amount up front or make monthly payments, you can get the help you need. While they sound great, they are often misleading and don't do much good at all.
Loan modifications and short sales aren't the only ways homeowners can look to stop foreclosure in Florida. While they are options, they aren't the only options. Because of banks' heavy use of "robo-signer" documents to force foreclosures and other fake documents they have filed with the courts and presented to be correct even though they aren't, homeowners have a distinct advantage.
Hiring an experienced Miami foreclosure attorney can help you stay in your home, get the bank to make concessions and even modify your loan because of their mistakes. But you need someone who knows how to look for those errors and can expose them in court for your benefit. Trust experience and diligence over fly-by-night companies that may or may not have your best interests at heart.
If you feel you are the victim of mortgage modification fraud in your Miami foreclosure case, contact Jacobs|Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.