Foreclosure assistance may be a scam

(KABC) But some homeowners have been able to keep their homes despite getting behind in their payments.

More and more lenders are willing to negotiate with a homeowner that is in trouble with their mortgage payments. Most of the time all you have to do is contact them and start negotiating. But sometimes that's not enough to be rescued from foreclosure.

As of September 2007, Belinda was just days away from losing her home of 15 years to foreclosure.

It is now 2008 and Belinda not only has her home, but she's proud to show her face.

Last year Belinda tried to get her lender to re-work her adjustable rate mortgage and they did, but their new payment plan was still too expensive for her.

Tom Fahrney works for one of several companies in the country specializing in re-working foreclosures. Sometimes they can be more successful negotiating with the lender than if you try to go it alone.

Belinda's lender eventually accepted the offer Tom put together and Belinda is keeping her home.

But be careful who you do business with. The Better Business Bureau receives lots of complaints about companies who claim to help you get out of foreclosure, but only take consumers' money.

So make sure the money you give them is guaranteed to go back to you if you can't make a deal with the lender.

Belinda warns others to be careful because if your home is in foreclosure it will be listed in the paper. Scam artists then get your name and address and may try to contact you.

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