There is an old hosue-stealing scam that is making the rounds again. This scam promises to help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure and prevent the loss of the home, but when you sign the paperwork, you are actually agreeing to quit your property and give ownership to the scam artist. Before you lose your number one investment, consult a real estate attorney. He or she can help you in the following ways, and help you avoid becoming the victim of this scam.
Quit Claim Deeds and Recognizing Them
At the heart of this scam is the quit claim deed. This is a piece of paper that stipulates the location of your property as it is listed with the county and state in which you reside. It looks very official because it is. The scammer will ask you to sign the deed, usually claiming that you are acknowledging ownership of the property and you wish to "quit" the foreclosure process. (This is how many of the scammers get around explaining what a quit claim deed is.) Most quit claim deeds will state "quit claim deed" at the top, but not all do, so be careful about what these people want you to sign.
There may also be a series of boxes requesting the reasons for the quit claim deed and who you are signing for. Since property can be signed over to former spouses and your children, these blanks exist for that purpose, but the scammer may leave them intentionally blank until after you have signed the document.These papers also have to be notarized, so you may be tricked into believing everything is on the up and up because a notary is present at the signing.
How Your Real Estate Attorney Can Help
First off, no matter what your position with your home at the moment, do not sign anything! Tell these potential scammers that you are deferring the matter to your lawyer. When they hear that, they may push harder to get you to sign, or they may back off and disappear, never to bother you again. Ask for copies of the paperwork to show your lawyer. If it is a scam, the cons will balk and refuse. If they are bold and think you are bluffing, they may give you copies and not expect you to follow through. Your lawyer can point out what these property thieves are attempting to do, and prevent you from becoming a homeless victim, against which you would have no legal recourse because you signed a legally binding document.
As for your foreclosure, your real estate lawyer may be able to help you with that as well. He or she may have some alternative solutions that can help you through a rough patch, or at the very least, a stay to prevent the auction of your home until you can find the money you need to pay the back taxes or the back mortgage payments. The attorney may also have some ways for you to keep your home, such as a reverse mortgage, if you meet the requirements. Contact a business, such as Valentine & Valentine PC for more information.