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Reverse Mortgage Scams
February 17, 2011 - Lisa Goehle
reverse mortgage scams:
Many seniors are feeling the economic crunch and are looking for alternative ways to meet their bills. Reverse Mortgages are being heavily advertised by all forms of the media.
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development Office of Inspector General (HUD_OIG) urge consumers, especially senior are citizens, to be aware when looking into reverse mortgage products. Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM); have increased more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008, creating significant opportunities for fraud perpetrators.
Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the perpetrators in stealing the money from the property. Seniors are frequently targeted through local churches, investment seminars, television, radio, and mailers. A legitimate HECM loan product is insured by Federal Housing Authority, A legitimate program allows qualified seniors the ability to access the equity in their homes without monthly payments. To qualify you must be 62 or older and live in the property as your primary residence, without a mortgage or only a small mortgage. Don’t be a victim of Reverse Mortgage Scams: •Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements. •Be aware of anyone claiming you can own a home with no down payment. •Do not every sign anything you don’t fully understand. •Do not accept payments from individuals for a home you did not purchase. •Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor. •Always check out the company or person prior to signing any paperwork.
You can call the HUD hotline at 1-800-347-3735, Attorney General of Florida Office is 1-850-414-3300 and the Fraud Hotline is 1-866-966-7226.
Information in this blog was obtained from the FBI Senior Fraud Division
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