* MORTGAGE "RESCUE." Someone calls you, claiming to be with a finance company. The caller suggests if you sign your home's title over to the company, it will pay off your mortgage and arrange a lower payment plan with you. You pay the company a monthly fee to stay in the house, and the company returns the deed to your house once you get back on your feet. REALITY: You sign over your house, you lose your house, and the "finance company" kicks you out.
* REFINANCE BAIT-AND-SWITCH. Similar to the rescue scam, but you keep paying the mortgage. The scam artist claims there is a government or charity program that can arrange discount financing for you. He even sends official-looking documents and asks you to sign them. REALITY: You end up signing your house over to the scam artist, and you're still stuck with the mortgage.
* PHANTOM MORTGAGE. The scam artist offers to bail you out of foreclosure by acting as your "negotiator" with your lender. Again, he buries you in paperwork and monthly fees. REALITY: He never contacts your lender. He just keeps sending you paperwork and collecting your fee.
NEVER TRUST AN UNSOLICITED CALL FROM SOMEONE OFFERING VERSIONS OF THESE SCAMS!
Source: Audri Lanford, scambusters.org, courtesy of Bottom Line Secrets magazine