The impact of COVID-19 has led to financial hardship for homeowners across the country. In fact, a recent study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS® found that more than 8 in 10 – 81% – U.S. homeowners – the COVID-19 pandemic has caused them unexpected financial distress.
“The effects of COVID-19 have led some homeowners to take desperate measures to make sure they can protect their investments. Scam activity increases during times like these, so homeowners should remain vigilant and beware of offers that sound too good to be true, ”said ECAR President Bonnie Nault.
Here are some warning signs of scams and unfavorable loan terms:
It seems too easy
“Guaranteed approval” or “no income verification” regardless of the borrower’s current job, credit history and assets.
Significant future costs
High-risk variable-rate mortgages whose payments increase dramatically after the “alert rate” period are rarely suitable for families who have already had problems repaying other loans.
Obstacles to refinancing
Prepayment penalties that make it difficult for a borrower to refinance in order to pay off a high cost loan by taking advantage of a low cost loan.
Loans without down payment
These loans can be divided into two mortgages, one having a much higher cost. Home buyers need to make sure they can afford the payments.
Unethical document management
Ethical lenders and brokers will never ask you to sign a blank document or a document dated before the date of signing.
Rent to own scam
The lease-to-buy landscape can be a minefield of scams and deceptions designed to take your money and leave sellers and buyers in the dust.
If you’re a homeowner struggling or unable to meet your loan obligations, work with housing experts and your lender to find a solution today. Don’t wait until you’re late to ask for help. Acting quickly can help you keep your home and the money you’ve already invested in it.
REALTORS® are on a mission to help people own homeowners and want to do everything possible to make sure you can afford to stay in your home and stay safe from potential scams. If your current lender is unwilling or unable to help, you may be able to refinance your current mortgage with another lender. REALTORS® can also help you find responsible lenders who offer fair and affordable loans. Contact the Eastern CT Association of Realtors or visit www.easternctrealtors.com to find an associate affiliate lender or speak with a member of the National Association of REALTORS® to learn more.