Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Protect Your Home And Your Credit

Your home is probably your largest and most important asset. It is also one of the most attractive assets to criminals and con artists. Not surprisingly, many states report that mortgage fraud is one of the most commonly reported complaints. The effect of mortgage fraud can be devastating, not only as a way of removing equity or destroying credit, but in some cases homeowners also unwittingly sign deeds giving away actual ownership and legal title to the house.

Special thanks to Emil Izrailov, a Certified Mortgage Planner with Kaye Financial Corporation, for providing a recent article that highlights a new twist in mortgage fraud, an “equity disbursement program” purportedly sponsored by the “CRA” (that sounds official, doesn’t it?):
Through direct mail advertising, consumers are being offered special "cash grant or equity disbursement" programs which claim to be linked to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and, in some cases, even endorsed by the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve Board cautions homeowners that "no such federal programs exist". In fact, the Federal Reserve Board does not "endorse or sponsor" any mortgage programs, and the CRA does not "entitle individuals to any grants or loans". Enacted in 1977, the CRA is a federal law designed to address unfair "redlining" practices in low-income neighborhoods, encouraging financial institutions to address the financial needs of the community as a whole.
Click here to download the rest of the helpful article.

How do you keep from falling victim to this or any of the other in a frighteningly wide array of mortgage fraud schemes including equity stripping, loan flipping, bait and switch and deceptive loan servicing? (For a further description of these and other schemes to guard against here is a link to a recent article from Nancy Kreisler). The best way to protect your home and your credit is a twofold process:

First, only work with an experienced mortgage professional who can provide exemplary references. You can even send an email directly to Emil Izrailov if you have questions about how to protect yourself from mortgage fraud or you are looking to obtain financing.

Second, before entering into any agreements for the sale of your home or for financing which is secured by your home, contact me or your other trusted attorney who is experienced in real estate, civil and consumer protection law. That attorney can review the agreements before you sign them to make sure that your interests, your home and your credit are protected.

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