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Equity-skimming scam targets Florida homeowners

Florida homeowners have had much to feel good about due to the real estate recovery that has taken place in recent years. Home values have been going up and so has the equity attached to the homes. But when an industry becomes infused with money, it often is also infused with fraudsters looking to take advantage of people who are experiencing financial setbacks.

A district attorney who is part of a real estate fraud unit works at tracking the scams that have permeated the state’s real estate industry. One scam that she cites is called “equity-skimming.” Equity-skimming involves scam artists targeting vulnerable homeowners who have credit problems and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Essentially, the scam artist entices these homeowners with promises of fixing their credit and helping them with their mortgage payments. They do this by claiming that someone with good credit will purchase their house and let them rent the home at a low rate. The scam artist leads the homeowners to believe that the money paid in rent will go toward paying the mortgage.

All of this is done with the promise that ultimately the homeowner will have fixed credit and the ability to buy back their house. But the scam artist will actually keep the rent, not pay off the mortgage and let the house slide into foreclosure. Eventually, the homeowner will get no return on the promises and be evicted from their home.

Scams like equity-skimming are not only cruel but can cause severe financial devastation for the victims. If you have been victimized in a real estate fraud, you may wish to contact a Florida business torts attorney. The attorney could offer you advice on your possible options at recouping your losses.