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Foreclosure Scam Makes Way Across Nation

POSTED: Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 8:39pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:00am

TYLER - According to the Better Business Bureau, 1.7 million homeowners could lose their homes to foreclosure in the next couple years.

And, con artists see this as "opportunity."

Across the U.S., homeowners facing foreclosure are getting scammed.

Linda Bailey says, "People are so desperate to do something, they are so afraid to lose their homes."

Bailey works for the Better Business Bureau in Tyler.

She tells us, although the scam hasn't hit the rose city just yet, it's on its way.

Bailey says, "It may be slower getting here, because we really are in better places. But sooner or later, it usually gets here."

Here's how it works— a scam artist calls the homeowner, and offers them financial help.

Bailey says, "We'll buy your house and then you'll rent from us. You can get it back when you make payment on it. But that'll never happen. The house ends up in the scam artists names and they get it."

Sadly, your house is now— no longer your house.

So— buyer beware!

Bailey says, "If they get involved in these rescue mortgage scams, they definitely will lose their homes."

Laurie Rossman says, "unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me that that's going on."

Homeowner Laurie Rossman has lived in Tyler for the last 30 years.

Rossman says, "The risks are sure worth it. You just need a heads up, that unfortunately there are people out there that want to take what you have."

Rossman says, she was once a victim of identity theft.

She says, going through that, made her more aware of scammers.

Rossman says, "If i don't know the number, I don't answer my phone."

Bailey says, that's good advice.

So is this—

*First— check the company out.

*Beware of the personal approach.

*Never sign anything without double checking.

*And finally, talk to your lender.

Bailey says, "They don't want the house back anymore than you want to lose it."

For more information, you can log onto the Better Business Bureau's website at

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