Los Angeles Times

Signs of a scammer

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

In the midst of your foreclosure troubles, kindly people might appear -- at your doorstep, church or tennis club -- with a plan to make your troubles disappear. But it could be a scam.

Steer clear of anyone who:

* guarantees to stop the foreclosure process;

* collects upfront fees;

* asks to be paid by wire or cashier's check;

* instructs you not to contact your lender or lawyer;

* wants you to make mortgage payments directly to him or her;

* suggests you sign over or "share" your property deed or title;

* proposes a lease-and-buyback arrangement;

* offers to fill out paperwork for you; or

* pressures you to sign documents you don't understand.

Information: www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit.shtm. Click on "Mortgages/Real Estate," then "Foreclosure Rescue Scams."

Source: Federal Trade Commission

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