Those in Birmingham facing foreclosure are often in a desperate situation. They want to do anything to save their homes, so when a solution comes forth that seems too good to be true it can be tempting to act on that offer. However, there are many foreclosure scams out there will take your money based on false claims that they can stop foreclosure, which they ultimately cannot do.
Common foreclosure scams
Foreclosure scammers may say they can help you come current on your mortgage payments. However, their goal is just to take a desperate homeowner’s money. Foreclosure scams can come in the form of advertising on the radio, in newspapers and on the Internet, through flyers and by directly contacting a person whose home is listed as in foreclosure in local newspapers. Foreclosure scams may target people who practice a specific religion or are of a specific ethnicity. Foreclosure scams may ask for money up front, ask you to sign over title to your home, send money to someone other than your lender or stop paying your mortgage altogether. What all foreclosure scams do, though, is falsely promise that for a fee they can help save your home.
What can you do if you cannot pay your mortgage?
Being unable to pay your mortgage is a terrible position to find yourself in. However, you need not fall for scams; there are legitimate options available for homeowners who cannot pay their mortgage. First you can contact your mortgage servicer. Mortgage servicers often have programs available to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. You may be able to refinance, have your loan modified, enter an affordable repayment plan or get a forbearance on your loan. If your home cannot be saved by these means you still may be able to avoid foreclosure by going through a short sale or a “deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.”
Filing for bankruptcy is a viable option
Some homeowners may find that if they have exhausted their other options, that filing for bankruptcy is in their best interests. Both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put an “automatic stay” on any foreclosure proceedings. This can give you the time you need to come current on your mortgage in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your mortgage can be included in your court-approved repayment plan. The automatic stay can stop you from losing your home to foreclosure.