Scammers are everywhere. They are always looking for small windows of opportunity for their sneaky strategies to come into play. They know that there is big money in the real estate industry so you might be a target of their mischievous schemes. Beware to whom you are dealing with. Make sure to only deal with a legit Ft Lauderdale real esate agent. It doesn’t mean that because they speak well and dress up well, they are respectable people that you can trust. Take note of the following scams and know what to do to avoid it.
- Mortgage Compression or Loan Modification Scams
This is how this scam works: When you are faced with disclosure notice or you are having a hard time paying your monthly mortgage, somebody will call you. He will introduce himself as a person working for a government agency that help borrowers like you pay for the mortgage and avoid foreclosure. Out of desperation, you might fall under his spell. Then he will ask you to pay for “processing fee” before he can reduce your mortgage payment. They will also ask for your bank account details in exchange for their promise you that they will shoulder half of your monthly mortgage obligation.
Once you give them the money for the “processing fee” or you back account details, they will immediately disappear.
Beware of anybody asking you to pay upfront. Your mortgage issues are only being handled by your lender, not by other people outside their company. There is no “guarantee” that your house will not be foreclosed even if you are not paying your dues. Keep away from anyone who will come to you and say that he is from a loan modification company and he can help you deal with foreclosure issues.
- Title Scams
A person will offer a property with a “clean” title. After you give him the money, you will find out later on that the title is not clean or worse, it’s fake!
Double check if the title is clean and the owner of the lot is the person indicated in the title. There are government agencies that you can go to fact-check the land titles.
- Rental Scams
A scammer will pose like he is an agent working on behalf the owner of the house that you are eyeing to rent. He will make himself convincing by creating his own website and reproducing the keys to the house. Then he will ask for payment for him to start processing the documents. Once he receives the money, he will not show up.
Again, beware of the people who are asking for money as a “processing fee”. If possible, contact the owner of the property in secret to ask if the person you are dealing with is his realtor or not.