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First of all, I am not an attorney and therefore this blog is for your information only. If you are facing foreclosure for your Lakeland real estate, beware that foreclosure scam artists preying on you. It is important that you seek an attorney, who specializes in foreclosure.

What is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is an action by the lender to take back your property. If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint, in the State of Florida you and/or your attorney have 20 days to respond to this notice. It is critical that you hire an attorney, who specializes in foreclosure. You still have the right to fight foreclosure, however hiring an attorney is essential. There are steps you can take when you cannot make or have already fallen behind on your mortgage payments.

  • Contact your lender immediately
  • Work out a prepayment plan with your lender
  • Modify your current mortgage by extending the length of your loan
  • Piggy back past due amounts
  • Short Sale is also an option

Another option would be Forbearance. Your lender may allow you to delay payments for a short period of time, with the understanding that another option will be used afterwards to bring the account current.

Did you know that your foreclosure notices (Lis Pendens) are public record?

This is the most vulnerable time of your life and scam artists just waiting for you to fall for it with all kinds of tricks up their sleeves:

Lease-Back or Repurchase Scams – they simply try to convince you that they will continue paying your mortgage and renting the home back to you by signing the deed over to them. You could be out of your home and still be held responsible for your mortgage. Don’t be fooled!

Bait and Switch – posing as mortgage brokers or lenders offering to refinance your loan with affordable rates and payments by con you into signing over home ownership instead of refinance documents. Don’t be fooled!

Phantom Help – charges you high fees upfront for work you as a homeowner could do yourself. Don’t be fooled!

Foreclosure Prevention Specialist – phony counselors, if it is too good to be true turn the other way. Don’t be fooled!

Don’t sign any documents, such as your deed to your home. The Federal Trade Commission’s web site has some valuable information regarding avoiding foreclosure as well as info for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help you spot, stop, and avoid them.

Since October 1, 2008 the Florida Foreclosure Fraud protecting homeowners is in effect.

In 2008, the foreclosure rate increased by 133% from 2007, an estimated 385,000 Florida homes facing foreclosures in the state of Florida. Unfortunately, this is heaven for scam artists and criminals a niche market by defrauding homeowners making false promises to save homeowners from foreclosure.

Foreclosure rescue consultants and/or equity buyers are prohibited from starting services without first executing a written agreement with you, the homeowner, and charging upfront fees before completing or performing all services as agreed. There are further protections with regard to cancellation of such agreement, and other prohibited acts of offering or providing foreclosure related services you should read in this bill.

I hope you found this post useful! If you need help finding or selling your Lakeland, Florida home, please contact me at 863-619-6918. If you’re new to Lakeland, I’d especially like to extend a warm welcome. I value my clients and provide them with honest, reliable service. Allow me to introduce you to the Lakeland real estate landscape and all it has to offer.

By Petra Norris

Petra Norris has written 513 post in this blog.

I am foremost a mother, wife, grand-mother, arts lover, and my occupation involves helping sellers sell and help buyers help buyers buy their Lakeland FL homes. Over 15 years experience in residential real estate enjoying every minute of it even if it is difficult, such as short sales - love challenges the profession brings.

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