Experts and government agencies are warning people all over the country to avoid working with organizations that set up “Web Buy Homes” signs, or call, send post cards or email with such promises.
According to the North Carolina Attorney General’s office, “Scammers are trying to take advantage of struggling families by promising to buy homes for quick cash.”
Con artists nationwide claim that they’ll pay cash for your home, but they actually try to convince you to sign over control of your home. Then, they lease the property to a tenant, leaving you out in the cold and still responsible for your mortgage payments.
Homebuyers and renters can also get hammered by these scams, which advertise so-called “rent to own” arrangements with huge upfront cash fees.
According to an alert from the NCAG’s office, these companies won’t pay cash for your home or secure payoff of your mortgage. You should beware of anyone who demands that you sign over the title of your home.
The federal government offers tips for avoiding mortgage refinance fraud and information on what to do if you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments, since there are state and federal programs that can help.
Prospective tenants or home buyers should work with reputable agencies and use extreme caution when considering rent-to-own agreements. Always make sure you’re renting or buying from the actual owner of the property.
Comments on the FTC’s Scam Alert Blog describe victims who have lost thousands of dollars to mortgage and foreclosure help scams. Some people even lost their homes. You can report suspected scams to the federal government easily using this online form. It’s extremely unlikely that someone who solicits you by phone, email, post card or road sign will actually help you sell your home or modify your mortgage payments.
I see “We Buy Homes” signs all over town. Have you encountered a home purchase or mortgage related scam? Have you or a loved one been victimized by such a crime?