During these uncertain economic times, there are many unscrupulous people looking to line their pockets at the expense of others’ misfortunes. One of the most effective ways to defend yourself against foreclosure fraud is awareness. According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you or someone you know is looking for a loan modification or other help to save a home, avoid any business that:

    Offers a guarantee to get you a loan modification or stop the foreclosure process;
    Tells you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or a housing counselor;
    Requests upfront fees before providing you with any services;
    Encourages you to transfer your property deed to title to them;
    Accepts payment only by cashier’s check or wire transfer; or
    Pressures you to sign papers you haven’t had the chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t understand.

Contact your local authorities or your state’s attorney general if you think you’ve been a victim of foreclosure fraud.