There are about as many ways to scam the unwary real estate consumer as their are stars in the sky, or so it seems. This one is an oldy, but a goody: the mortgage hand-off scam.
The con is a pretty simple one:
send an official looking notice to a hapless homeowner (typically, but not always, an unsophisticated new buyer).
Tell the owner that his mortgage has been sold to Mega Mortgage Financial Security, Co. and direct all future payments to the scammer's post office box.
Collect a couple-three payments and move on before the real lender starts calling on the homeowner to find out why he stopped paying on the loan.
FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES A "WELCOME" FROM YOUR NEW LOAN SERVICER and an "EXIT" FROM THE OLD ONE - NEVER MAKE A CHANGE UNTIL BOTH CONFIRM THAT A CHANGE IS TAKING PLACE.
A more detailed report here, from the Chicago Tribune:
I have been warning home buyers about this particular fraud for years now. I hope and trust that no one I have represented has fallen victim.
Do let me know if you have seen this - or any similar scam in the area.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these or other mortgage rip-offs.