Avoid Predators When Facing Foreclosure

July 18th, 2009 by Lance

In July the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its latest effort to prosecute companies that practice mortgage modification scams. Code named “Operation Loan Lies,” the crackdown on predatory companies is in response to complaints from homeowners facing foreclosure.

Your best defense against these attacks is to know their tactics. When a company guarantees to modify your loan or stop the foreclosure after you pay up front, beware. You’ll likely lose more money yet still be faced with foreclosure.

While the scams originated in California, 25 federal and state agencies are now involved in combating this growing fraud.

While avoiding these scams, consider filing for bankruptcy as a legitimate, detailed alternative.  Your effort to reorganize your finances through Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure for the period that you are in bankruptcy.

Unlike corporations, individuals like you can file for Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. This creates a bankruptcy estate which includes your property. A payment plan can be created which allows you to pay previous mortgage payments over time while still enabling you to meet your basic living expenses.

Not all individual cases qualify for Chapter 13, and credit limitations are created as a result of personal bankruptcy. Many states also have different rules regarding bankruptcy.

But a trusted bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your situation and serve as a legitimate advocate for your financial needs. They will be familiar with state laws regarding bankruptcy, ensuring that your actions to reduce your debt are compliant and effective.

The ultimate goal is to not only weather the financial storm, but create a detailed plan that best utilizes your finances moving forward. Quick-fix schemes will only put you further behind your payment obligations.

If you are faced with an impending foreclosure, don’t become the next victim of a mortgage modification scam. Contact a trusted local bankruptcy lawyer to explore your options.