AARP Warns Seniors About Foreclosure Scams

AARP is warning seniors about foreclosure scams targeting older homeowners that are behind on mortgage payments and facing foreclosure. DON’T BE ONE OF THEM!

According to the AARP bulletin, during the first six months of this year, more than 40 percent of the reported victims of this type of scam were 51 or older. This is up from the six month period between July 2010 and December 2010 when 36 percent of victims were in this age group.

Opportunists willing to take advantage during tough economic times is nothing new, but preying on senior citizens to this extent is a despicable commentary on our society and lack of values that are all too pervasive today.

Here are some excerpts from the AARP Bulletin, written by Sid Kirchheimer

aarp foreclosure scam warning

Foreclosure scam impacts Imogene Hall — Photo by Carl Juste/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images

“Ever since the housing market took a dive, foreclosure scams have been spreading like wildfire. And that’s not about to change, what with some 4 million homeowners currently delinquent on their mortgages and another 1.6 million already in the foreclosure process.

What is changing, though, is the age of people being targeted in so-called rescue scams, in which you’re promised help in hanging on to a property threatened with foreclosure.”

The losses for this age group since February of 2010, are in excess of $16 million. The average loss per victim is $3,358.

“Typically, the losses come in the form of upfront fees paid to scammers who get in touch after learning of a foreclosure from newspapers, specialty publications or public records.

Among many other sins, they generally ignore federal rules that forbid foreclosure assistance or loan modification companies to collect fees until the lender has agreed to the relief in writing.”

There are numerous tactics used in this overall scam

The AARP Bulletin details 6 of the most common scams. Here a couple of the most prevalent ones. The others you can read about in more detail in the full AARP Alert.

“1. Rent to buy. Scammers say that if you surrender your home’s title to them, you can remain under your roof as a renter and buy the home back later.

Forget claims that this prevents foreclosure and can improve your credit rating — here’s the real deal: The bad guys raise the rent to evict you, make the buy-back terms so stiff that you can’t reclaim your home; or just let the foreclosure proceed.”

“2. Lawsuit lures. In the latest variation, you receive a letter inviting you to join a class action lawsuit against your mortgage company. This bogus offer is made more believable by the widely publicized “robo-signing” scandal of last year, in which lenders were accused of hiring unqualified people to falsify foreclosure paperwork en masse.”

Be sure to read the rest of the scam tactics mentioned in the AARP Bulletin. Being aware of these just might save you from becoming the next victim of these ruthless predators.

If you are struggling to stay in your home and still have equity, you should definitely request a free reverse mortgage quote to find out if a government insured reverse mortgage could save you from losing your home. Countless people have benefited in the past and rescued their homes from the brink of foreclosure by using a reverse mortgage.

Free Reverse Mortgage Quote