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Do you know these real estate scams?

You bought your first home in Delaware several years ago, and you feel ready to buy a second. Or maybe you want to refinance your current mortgage. Either way, do you know how to protect yourself?

Keep from becoming a victim with help from Bankrate. Do not let a scammer rob you of time, money or peace of mind.

Loan flipping

If you want to refinance your mortgage, watch out for lenders who pressure you to refinance multiple times. The loan flipping scam involves homeowners borrowing more money each time they refinance their mortgage, with the lender charging additional points and fees. Older homeowners may not catch on to the scam, but working with trusted relatives and friends or known lenders may help reduce the chances of facing a scam.

Escrow wire fraud

When you reach the escrow phase of purchasing a home, be careful of whom you speak to. With escrow wire fraud, scammers contact homebuyers to direct them where to wire escrow funds. You access a site that looks like your lending or title company’s, but if you follow through with wiring the funds, you may lose your money with few options for recourse. Protect yourself by referring to your original lending paperwork’s contact information to verify where to send your funds.

Foreclosure relief scam

Rather than purchasing a second home, perhaps you face the reality of losing your first home. Be wary of scammers posing as foreclosure relief companies. They charge massive upfront fees to help you out of your financial situation, but they may leave you and your finances worse off. Stay safe by working with your mortgage lender, not a third party.

The real estate industry abounds with crooks looking for vulnerable buyers, borrowers and homeowners. Stay vigilant to remain a happy homeowner.

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