Foreclosure Defense & Predatory Lending
Victimized by Predatory Lending Practices? Contact JAMISON LAW today for a Case Review.
Consumers are losing their home in overwhelming numbers due to predatory practices by unscrupulous lenders, mortgage servicing companies, appraisers, mortgage brokers and home repair companies. These merchants frequently target low income, minority, and elderly consumers, attempting to rob them of the American dream.
As Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke noted, “unfair and deceptive acts and practices hurt not just borrowers and their families, but entire communities, and, indeed, the economy as a whole.”
Attorney Mandy Jamison’s dedication to protecting disenfranchised consumers is exercised each day as she fights to balance the playing field against dishonest big businesses that exercise unfair, deceptive, and unconscionable practices.
- Properties are sold for much more than they are worth using inflated appraisals.
- Borrowers are encouraged to lie about their income, expenses, or cash available for a down payment when applying for a loan.
- Homeowners’ loan payments are not properly applied.
- Borrowers are charged fees for unneeded or non-existent products or services.
- Borrowers are charged higher interest rates based on their age or race, rather than their credit history.
- Borrowers are pressured to accept high-risk loans with balloon loans, interest only payments, and steep pre-payment penalties.
- Homeowners are stripped of their home equity when they are pressured to refinance over and over again, with no benefit to the borrower.
Common Tactics of Predatory Lenders
- The home costs a lot more than other homes in the neighborhood, but it is not bigger or better. The lender pressures the consumer to enter the transaction instead of taking their time to shop around.
- The borrower is asked to sign loan paperwork with blanks, or that contact untrue information.
- The lender hurries the borrower through the signing process, and the loan terms are not what the borrower agreed to.
- The homeowner is told that they can only get a good deal on home improvements if they finance with a certain lender.
- The lender tempts the borrower with a low “teaser” adjustable interest rate, with the false assurance that they borrower will be able to refinance their loan before the higher interest rate takes effect.
Tips To Avoid a Predatory Home Loan
- Before you buy home, attend a homeownership education course offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved counseling agency, such as the Greater Dayton Home Ownership Center.
- Take your time choosing a real estate agent and ask for and check references before you choose an agent to help you buy or sell your home.
- Do your homework and get information about the prices of other homes in the neighborhood.
- Hire an independent and licensed home inspector to carefully inspect the property before you buy. Determine whether you or the seller will pay for any repairs. If you have to pay for the repairs, determine whether or not you can afford to make them before you are obligated to buy.
- Shop around for a lender and compare costs. Beware of anyone who tries to steer you to just one lender.
- Refuse to allow anyone to sway you to make an untrue statement on your loan application, such as overstating your income, the source of your down payment, the nature and amount of your debts, or your employment history. Do not do business with lenders who encourage you to falsify information on your loan application.
- Refuse to allow anyone to convince you to borrow more money than you can afford to pay back. If you are unable to make your payments on time, you risk losing your house and all of the money you have invested.
- Beware of doing business with unsolicited lenders. If a lender or other merchant shows up at your door uninvited, do not agree to anything.
- Obtain a free copy of your credit report before you apply for a loan or mortgage. Take steps to “clean up” your credit before buying a home. If there are any inaccuracies on your credit report, contact an attorney experienced in Fair Credit Reporting cases.
- Never sign a blank document or a document containing blanks. If information is inserted by someone else after you have signed, you may still be bound to the terms of the contract. Insert “N/A” or cross through any blanks.
- Read everything carefully and ask questions. Do not sign anything that you do not understand. Before you sign, it is wise to have the loan agreement reviewed by an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or a housing counselor with a HUD-approved agency, such as the Home Ownership Center of Greater Dayton.