Mortgage Trouble in San Diego? Beware the Scammers

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by Roberta Murphy

Big Mortgage Trouble

Big mortgage trouble. I am just now cooling down after spending a good part of this afternoon trying to help a San Diego area homeowner saddled with the unpleasant results of churned mortgages.

This particular property in rural San Marcos has been refinanced by the same lender with a total of nine loans over a couple of years. In one instance, only 28 days elapsed between refinancings. With total debt now approaching $2 million, this distraught owner is seeking a way to keep her home and not be forced to sell it.

Sometimes, keeping people in their San Diego homes is just part of our job–and one of the most rewarding ones.

But the ordeal got me thinking of all the scams surrounding (and invading) San Diego real estate. Mortgage trouble and scams certainly contributed to the rise in San Diego foreclosures and short sales, but it is the buzzards circling over and dive-bombing distressed homeowners that infuriates this Realtor.

Some of the current San Diego scams:

1. The mortgage buzzard persuades the distressed homeowner to sign over the deed to their San Marcos home–and then offers to rent it back at a rate that may exceed the original mortgage payment. If the homeowner-turned-tenant falls behind, they are not only evicted but have also lost any equity they may have had in their property.

2. Beware of what you sign: Many homeowners have inadvertently signed over the deed to their San Diego real estate, believing they are simply signing mortgage documents. I have spoken with several homeowners who have been near-victims of this real estate scam.

3. Watch out for hefty upfront fees charged by those who offer to stop your San Diego foreclosure. All too often, these scammers generate lots of paperwork, get some signatures, collect a check (for up to three month’s payments)– and disappear. Far better to call a San Diego Realtor who can help negotiate with lenders on your behalf–and is paid only when and if your property actually sells or is leased.

If you have any questions about these scams, please feel free to give me a call at 760-402-9101 or contact me via this site. I’ll try to answer your questions.

PS: No offense intended to California vultures.

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2 responses to “Mortgage Trouble in San Diego? Beware the Scammers

  1. Homeowners need to beware of so-called problem solvers who ask for money up front, or who push stacks of paper to be signed. Call an attorney or trusted Realtor before jeopardizing your San Diego real estate holdings.

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