It is important to be aware of estate real estate scams so that you or your loved one do not become a victim. Estate real estate scams involve victims of all ages, backgrounds and income brackets. Scams against certain groups of people such as seniors occur frequently. Knowing how to recognize a fraudulent real estate transfer or scam will help you protect your assets. Here are some fraud scams we’ve seen in New York City:
One common fraud is getting a victim to transfer title of their New York commercial or residential real estate to the thief. The unscrupulous person may or may not have legitimate credentials. Many times unsuspecting victims are mentally incompetent, or they are tricked into signing documents that they don’t understand or they are simply induced into a fraudulent transfer of their real estate asset by someone they know. An example is a primary caregiver. The primary care giver may have undue influence over the person they are taking care of and try and get them to leave them their real estate assets to them by either getting the person to change their will or gifting them the property while they are still alive.
Another scam involves distressed real estate and mortgage modifications. A company or individual will hold themselves out to be mortgage modification specialists who offer to help negotiate a mortgage modification for your property with your bank. The so called specialist may ask for a large upfront fee before attempting to negotiate your modification or have you pay them a modified loan payment amount instead of making the check out to your lender. What typically happens is they take off with the money, and you never receive a modification. In fact, you could end up losing your property to foreclosure.
Do not let anyone who is not a real estate professional complete paperwork for you regarding a real estate title transfer. Never sign any legal documents transferring your estate assets until you have consulted with a New York probate and estate attorney first. Avoid signing anything you do not understand. If someone tries to pressure you into signing a will leaving them your assets or transferring title to your home, or they are not willing to answer your questions, then you should not go through with the transaction because chances are it’s a estate real estate scam.
Being caution and taking a few extra measures to verify someone’s credentials or having your attorney review documents can save your asset from being taken from you and protect your estate so that your beneficiaries can inherit their full inheritance.
If you wish to speak to a New York City estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.