Remember my friend George (see my article "Refinance Rumors")? He approached me explaining that he was cold-called a few nights ago about refinancing his home. Since he has been considering the idea of refinancing for a while now, he agreed to meet with the solicitor. After showing him an appealing refinance package, the lender told him he needed to sign right away or else he would not be able to receive this "extraordinary refinance deal." Lucky for George, he decided to consult with me before closing. I explained to him that this most likely was a refinance scam.
Below are 4 common signs of a refinance scam:
Don't let someone push you into higher rates or payments
Do your research and find the lowest rates and costs available. If someone tells you their loan is better than your current home mortgage but the costs are still higher then this is probably not an honest refinance lender. An honest lender will ask you questions about your needs and give multiple rates on various loans that will meet those needs.
If a mortgage lender only supplies you with one package that has higher payments than you'd like or is more expensive than your current mortgage, don't let him tell you otherwise. When a mortgage lender tells you that a deal must be reached right away and won't be available for long (similar to George's situation), then allow that pushiness to be a sign that something fishy is going on.
Don't trust door-to-door or cold calling solicitors
True mortgage lenders don't function this way. If you are in the market to refinance, there are many resources available to you that will provide you with legitimate mortgage lenders, information on rate trends, common costs to consider, and various other details. Don't let someone who comes to your door tell you how to refinance. You need to educate yourself before talking to lenders!
Don't trust a lender that tells you to falsify any information
If a lender tells you to provide any false information about income or credit history, do not use that lender. Any signs of false paperwork or documentation means you're on track to foreclosure and losing your property.
Don't trust someone who fails to disclose any costs or information
Failure to disclose any information prior to signing of the mortgage is a bad sign. Blank documents and any left out rates or costs means that you could lose your home. Also, make sure you read