Beware of Scam Artists

Foreclosure scam artists often target people in financial distress. They may try to talk you into giving up the deed to your house, allegedly to clean up your credit, and then rent the house back to you until you are back on your feet. You can see a dramatization of this type of fraud at

In general, be suspicious:

  • Of anyone who wants the deed to your house for any reason, whether its to clean up your credit or obtain "special" financing from an investor.
  • Who offers to rent your house back to you until you can get back on your feet.
  • Lenders who encourage you to borrow more than you need or more than the value of your home.
  • Terms that change at the last minute or offer next-day approval based on prepayments or up-front fees.
  • Of forms you do not understand or that contain blank spaces "to be filled in later."
  • Beware of phony credit counseling agencies charging high fees for financial counseling services you can get for little or no charge through non-profit agencies. You can find a list of HUD-approved agencies by visiting their web site.

REMEMBER: Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is! If you suspect a predatory mortgage company is targeting you, call your local office of consumer affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an approved credit counseling agency or your local Don't Borrow Trouble campaign.