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Home equity lending fraud occurs when someone talks a homeowner into taking out a loan that they don’t need or that is bigger than they need, or has higher interest rates and higher fees and larger monthly payments than they can afford
These scams involve a company claiming that they can guarantee you a loan if you pay them a processing fee, an application fee or pay for ‘insurance’ on the loan in advance. The company will advertise on the Internet, in the classified section of a newspaper or magazine, or in a locally posted flyer. They will sometimes use a legitimate company’s name or use a variant of a trusted name. They will sometimes ask you to call them at a “900” number, which will result in charges to your phone bill. They will usually ask to be paid via overnight or courier service or by wire, so that they can’t be traced. In order to avoid being taken in by this scam you should be aware that:
- It is against the law for anyone to ask you to pay in advance to receive a loan or credit card.
- A legitimate lender will never guarantee you a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy petition on your credit report.
- These scams should not be confused with
- pre-qualified offers, which mean you are selected to apply and must go through the normal application process, or
- pre-approved offers, which require only verbal or written acceptance.
- Don’t ever give out personal information or agree to a loan over the phone or via the Internet.
This scam, like the advance fee loan scam, uses the internet, phone and newspaper to advertise. A company claims that they can guarantee a grant or loan from the government in exchange for a fee. They will usually ask that the money be sent via overnight or courier services or by wire, so that they don’t leave any trace of their identity or location. They then provide the victim with information that is available in any library or can be ordered directly from the government.
Traditional overdraft protection services allows you to avoid bouncing checks by linking your checking account to your savings account or to a line of credit or credit card that you have with the bank
With overdraft payment programs, also called ‘courtesy’ overdraft protection or bounce coverage, the bank pays any checks that you write, debit purchases or ATM withdrawals that are for more money than you have in your account. The decision to make this payment is at the sole discretion of the bank. The bank will charge a fee for each transaction and some banks will also charge a daily fee until the account has a positive balance. Some banks will charge loan fees, sometimes twice in a billing period. In order to avoid the imposition of additional charges, the customer must repay the bank the amount that it covered plus any accumulated fees.
Home equity is the value of your home minus the money you still owe on the home. You can sometimes borrow money from a lender by using the equity in your home as security on a loan. If the homeowner falls behind on payments, the lender can take the home.