High-Stake Scams Threatening Homes

April 12, 2024

Three High-Stakes Scams Threatening Homes

Emotions run high when it comes to homeownership, which makes home loan borrowers—especially those experiencing financial hardship—easy prey for con artists.

Scammers trade in feelings.

Hustlers know a house is so much more than a roof over their victims' heads; it’s a symbol of achievement, a marker of independence, and one of the most effective ways to build wealth. Exploiting pride and security for profit is the name of their game.

Here are a few of the more common traps set by home-loan swindlers.

Loan Modification ScamsDeceptive debt restructuring “firms” promise to work with a homeowner’s lender to reduce payments, modify loans or prevent foreclosure. When the firm doesn’t follow through, the homeowner is left holding the bag—which is often much heavier thanks to the added weight of late fees, other penalties and interest.    

Veterans Affairs ImpersonationA caller claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers former military service personnel a great deal on a home refinance, loan restructuring or foreclosure assistance. They often ask for upfront fees, rerouted monthly mortgage payments, or requests for the homeowner to sign over the title of their property. Then, they bail, leaving the veteran with a huge financial loss.

Use your local bank as a scam shield.

The growing threat of mortgage scams is one of many reasons to work with a local bank that knows you by name. When you have a personal relationship with your mortgage lender, a Bank Iowa employee waits in the wings to offer support during times of financial hardship… or a second opinion on questionable loan offers.

With the shield of personal support, borrowers are much less vulnerable to exploitative scammers just waiting to entrap them in an emotional snare.