How to Spot a Utah Loan Scam
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10 Signs You Should Run for the Door

Why do hard financial times bring scammers out of the woodwork? During an economic lull or crisis, people become vulnerable. We look for signs of hope, quick relief, and a kind heart to share our woes. That is what makes us easy targets. If you own a Utah home and are in fear of having to relinquish it to a mortgage lender, don’t fall victim to one of the many loan scams plaguing Utah homeowners today.

When a person suffers from traumatizing financial stress, he or she can be weakened emotionally and more susceptible to “unbelievable offers” that never would have been considered at a time of financial strength. Scammers love that, and they’re out looking for you. Fight back by arming yourself with crucial information. Learn to recognize the warning signs and for heaven’s sake, if you experience one or more of these from a self-proclaimed proponent – run for the door.

Here are 10 signs of a loan scam:

  1. STOP if a company representative asks for money in advance to find you a loan, or work with your lender to modify or refinance your loan.
  2. STOP if the “loan expert” requires payment by cash, a cashier’s check or a wire transfer.
  3. STOP if a person guarantees he can secure your mortgage loan, refinance or modification. No one can guarantee this. There are way too many variables involved.
  4. STOP if you are advised to make payments to a loan broker or loan assistant instead of your mortgage company. Never send payments to anyone but the company named on your loan documents at the address the documents specify.
  5. STOP if you are discouraged from contacting your mortgage lender, a lawyer, or a financial counselor (you are being scammed). You have the right and the responsibility to look out for your interests.
  6. STOP if someone pressures you for the signed deed to your home, or if you are rushed through the paper-signing process. Read and understand all legal papers before you sign.
  7. STOP if someone asks you to sign papers that are not completely filled out. If you are satisfied you have filled in the pertinent lines, draw an “X” through any blanks or write “NA” (for not applicable) so details can’t be added later.
  8. STOP because there is such a thing as too much help. Never let someone else fill out your loan documents. If you do need assistance filling out paperwork, ask a friend or family member for help.
  9. STOP when someone makes a cash offer to buy your home that is not in line with the current housing market.. It’s always best to involve a trusted licensed real estate professional to negotiate on your behalf.
  10. STOP because scammers frequently offer a buy-back program to people in danger of losing their homes. They’ll tell you to sell them your home, pay rent, and then buy the house back later when your financial situation is better. Again, involve a licensed real estate professional in any housing transaction. You could lose your home entirely to a cheat. Very often the buy-back programs are nearly impossible to get out of.

If you have questions about buying, selling, or financing a Utah home contact us at 801-673-3333 today. We work with preferred, trusted lenders every day.

Joel Carson

Salt Lake City's #1 Agent Utah Real Estate President/Principal Broker