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Friday, November 14, 2008

Beware of Reverse Mortgage Scams

By Terry Stanfield

Reverse mortgages are being used by more and more seniors in an effort to get a loan that does not have to paid back until they move or die, giving them the funds they need to pay for their own long-term care, without relying on family or insurance. It is an incredibly popular practice for those over the age of 62, who own a home and don't want to be a financial burden on their families. In fact, they are the most popular type of loan for Americans over the age of 62.

However, seniors who are in need of some loan cash sometimes fall into the traps of reverse mortgages scams through fake websites and reverse mortgage companies who charge too much. This is a horrible situation for a senior to be in, because they may lose thousands of dollars to the scam artists, turning them into a severe financial burden for them family.

Usually, the scam is perpetrated through telemarketing, with the senior being contacted by phone and convinced into giving up their personal information for the 'loan'. The personal information is then used to steal the senior's identity, often taking out a loan in their name, but making the senior foot the bill for the interest charges and monthly payments.

In the case where the senior thinks they are dealing with a legitimate company, they may be dealing with a phony reverse mortgage companies. These companies will charge six to ten percent of the entire loan amount just for the senior to get the name of a reverse mortgage lender. This is one of the most common types of scams. You can actually get information on who provides reverse mortgages, free of charge, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

As a result, if you are looking for a reverse mortgage, you need to be incredibly careful not to fall into the trap of a reverse mortgage scam. You should always make sure that before you sign anything, even if the agent is urging you to, you do your research into the company to find out if they are a) legitimate and b) financially stable.

It is also an excellent idea to sign the contract in the presence of a lawyer, advisor, or your children. This will help to avoid the tactics that have been laid by the reverse mortgage scam artist. However, if you simply want to avoid becoming a part of reverse mortgage scams, then you should simply not do your reverse mortgage dealings over the internet or phone.

Conclusion Reverse mortgage scams are one of the worst scams perpetrated by scam artists because it prays on the elderly and their desire to be financially secure after they have left the workforce. All reverse mortgage scams do is rob them of their money by forcing them to pay large sums up front, or by stealing personal information. To make sure you do not fall into a reverse mortgage scam, do your research and never, ever sign anything under pressure, or pay money up front without consulting an adviser first.

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