The lure of making money by investing in foreclosure properties has too many times led to real estate professionals taking advantage of homeowners facing the loss of their homes. Their focus on reaping huge profits from these properties causes them to lose sight of the moral and ethical side of doing business and providing a helpful solution to assist foreclosure victims. In response to these practices, some states have begun regulating how investors and foreclosure help companies do business in certain situations, including profit-capping measures for investors and fuller disclosure requirements in the area of loss mitigation. In addition, courts have ruled that, in some cases, the popular rent-back or leaseback option counts as a loan to the former foreclosure victims, rather than a rental agreement, forcing the investor to foreclose on the property again if the renters fail to pay as agreed.
While these laws provide further regulations that reputable foreclosure experts must now follow, the foreclosure scam companies will continue to do whatever they can to take advantage of homeowners in foreclosure. Many of the worst of these companies do not even bother to research the relevant foreclosure laws and rely on homeowners to fail to gather their own foreclosure information. In essence, they rely on their own ignorance of the law and the foreclosure victims’ ignorance in order to prey upon homeowners. This presents a unique opportunity for legitimate foreclosure investors and companies to fill this void by educating foreclosure victims on what can be done to stop foreclosure legally and effectively.
The vast majority of homeowners in foreclosure would like to keep their home if a suitable solution was presented. The idea of being set out on the street with nowhere to live and no opportunities to improve the lives of their own children causes great anxiety and scares homeowners to the point of trusting a scam to take care of their problems for them. Investors who are able to educate homeowners and structure a deal that is in the best interests of all involved are able to provide these homeowners with local solutions to stop foreclosure that will give them the best opportunity to repair their financial lives and get out of debt. Obviously, this deal will have to be a win-win situation for both the investor and foreclosure victims, but any win-lose or lose-lose situation will not provide either party with a long-term solution to the problem. Being honest with homeowners in foreclosure about their options and educating them on what will happen before, during, and after the foreclosure process is often the most effective way to come to a mutual understanding of the benefits of any plan to save a home.
There are many possible solutions to help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure, including ownership partnerships, trust agreements, and land contracts, to name just a few. Structured correctly and reviewed by all parties and their legal counsels, these can be very successful in putting an end to the foreclosure process. The most commonly used solutions are rental agreements and leaseback options, which give homeowners the possibility of living in the property and making rent payments until they have significantly improved their credit and can qualify to purchase the home back. Sometimes, these options will result in lower payments for the homeowners, as investors can often qualify for lower interest rates and pass those savings along to the foreclosure victims, which provides them with the best chance of eliminating debt and starting a savings plan.
By carefully considering a legal and mutually beneficial method to stop foreclosure, both homeowners and investors can provide each other with important benefits. Investors will be able to acquire a new investment property, improve their own credit scores, and make income from helping the foreclosure victims. Homeowners, in turn, will be able to avoid foreclosure without the loss of their homes, be able to remain living in their house, have an opportunity to repair their credit, and eventually repurchase the property, completing the process of financial recovery. In addition, educating homeowners on how foreclosure works and what causes it will allow communities to learn how to prevent future foreclosures and build a knowledgeable local population on guard against various foreclosure scams, who will not rely on the government to protect homeowners in financial hardships.