Receiving foreclosure papers can be a life-changing experience. Individuals and families are left feeling vulnerable, confused and worried about to do next. It’s hard to believe that people prey on those in need of help, but scams happen all the time. If anyone reaches out to you during times of financial trouble, take a second look.

There are several types of foreclosure scams, such as:

  • Loan modification scams. In Florida,submitting a loan modification package will not stop a foreclosure process. While it can sometimes settle the foreclosure action, a fraudulent loan modification is possible.
  • Phantom help scams. In this scheme, an individual will charge high fees for work you could technically do yourself. The goal is to extend the process out longer so the scammer can continue collecting monthly fees.
  • Prevention specialist scams. These scammers use high-pressure tactics in attempts to collect large sums of money fast. They usually offer a money-back-guarantee, although the homeowner never receives the actual benefit or service.

How to avoid foreclosure scams

It can sometimes be tempting to accept help when it’s offered. However, offers that sound too good to be true, usually are. Homeowners can protect themselves by hiring a professional who is licensed by the Florida Bar Association. It’s far too risky to accept help from individuals or companies with questionable qualifications and backgrounds.

It’s important to report foreclosure scams immediately, to help other people from falling into the trap. Fortunately, the Florida legislature enacted the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act, which puts tight restrictions on any foreclosure help services. There are well-qualified lawyers ready to defend families against home foreclosure.