with whom you are dealing
you hand over any money or provide any personal information, check out
the company or person.
You can check your
local Better Business Bureau or state consumer protection office to
see if the company or organization is legitimate and if any complaints
have been filed.
reputable non-profit housing or financial counselors,
such as those you can find by contacting the:
Know what you are signing
Read and understand every document you sign.
If a document is too complex, seek advice from a lawyer or trusted financial
counselor. Never sign documents with blank spaces that can be filled in
later. Never sign a document that contains errors or false statements,
even if someone promises to correct them later.
Get promises in writing
Oral promises and agreements relating to your
home are usually not legally binding. Protect your rights with a written
document or contract signed by the person making the promise. Keep copies
of all documents you sign.
Make your mortgage payments directly to your lender
or the mortgage servicer.
Do not trust anyone else to make mortgage payments for you.
Never sign over your deed until you clearly understand what will happen
to your rights to your home
often require you to “temporarily” sign over ownership of your
home to another claiming it would be only as a means to help you.
Consult with a HUD-approved homeowner counseling agency.
Report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission, your State
Attorney General’s Office or your state and local consumer protection
agencies. Reporting con artists and suspicious schemes helps prevent others
from becoming victims.