Real Estate Fraud
Protect Yourself from Foreclosure Fraud
The San Diego County District Attorney's Office cannot give you legal advice, but we can provide these tips to help you protect yourself:
- DO NOT sign a quitclaim deed or any other document that transfers the property to another person or trust without first consulting an independent attorney.
- Never sign a contract or other documents under pressure. Seek help, from an attorney, social services agency, legal aid or someone you trust to review any foreclosure-related paperwork. Be especially wary of offers to take over ownership of your home as part of a deal that allows you to rent your home and then buy it back after a few years.
- Never make verbal agreements. Never sign blank pages where information can be added later. Never sign anything you do not understand.
- Avoid doing business with individuals or companies that call themselves mortgage consultants, foreclosure services or similar without thoroughly checking their credentials. Be sure to ask for references from licensing agencies, or check with the Better Business Bureau and trade groups.
- Recommendations from family, friends, coworkers and others you trust are also a good resource. A legitimate mortgage consultant can help find the best loan and help with an unfavorable loan.
- Be aware of promises like "We'll save your credit," "We'll pay the closing costs," "We'll buy your house 'as-is'," or "If you sign the house over to us the foreclosure will be recorded against us," among a host of other come-ons.
- Be extremely cautious of those who contact or advertise to people whose homes are listed for foreclosure, including anyone who sends flyers or solicits door-to-door.
Report foreclosure fraud to the San Diego County District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Complaint Line at 619-531-3552.