In response to the recent economic crisis and real estate crash, many people have begun seeking assistance and advice from foreclosure consultants. These are real estate professionals who specialize in the foreclosure process. They are usually connected with a real estate agency such as a brokerage or mortgage company, but they can sometimes act independently.
Foreclosure consultants may perform a variety of tasks in conjunction with, or on behalf of a person who is facing foreclosure. For example, they may be able to:
- Assist in obtaining a new loan or refinancing package
- Help obtain a waiver for various mortgage clauses
- Provide advice on avoiding foreclosure
- Negotiate lower monthly mortgage payments or obtain a forbearance
Thus, seeking the advice of a foreclosure consultant can be helpful for persons who are facing foreclosure on their home or residential property.
While dealing with a foreclosure consultant has its advantages, consumers should exercise caution when doing so. This is because the lack of licensing guidelines can lead to foreclosure fraud and other types of scams which are perpetrated by a sham consultant. There have been many instances where foreclosure consultants have taken advantage of consumers who are in dire financial situations.
Some legal issues to be wary of when dealing with a foreclosure consultant may include:
- Disagreements/disputes over fees: Avoid working with “professionals” who charge excessive or unreasonable rates for their services
- The prevalence of scams: Avoid promises and offers that seem “too good to be true”
- Unauthorized dealings with third parties: Your consultant should disclose all parties who they are working with, and what their relationship is to you
- Misuse or abuse of your personal and financial information: Do NOT provide personal information to companies or consultants whose operations seem suspicious, illegal, or questionable
- Violations of laws: Don’t sign any agreements or engage in any actions that would violate state, local, or federal laws
In order to protect yourself when dealing with a foreclosure consultant, you should check their licensing credentials to ensure that they have been registered with the appropriate authorities. Also, keep records of any documents, forms, or contracts that you have signed with such persons. Lastly, be sure to retain the person’s contact information of future references.
Foreclosure consultants can offer valuable services, but you need to be cautious when dealing with such professionals. If you have any questions or legal disputes regarding a foreclosure consultant, you may wish to contact a real estate lawyer for advice and guidance. Your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary, and can help protect your interests against fraud and other types of violations.