Earlier this monrh, we put out a call to people who had been the victim of a real estate scam.  The Huffington Post Investigative Fund wants to hear from you, if you’ve fallen prey to shady lenders and others who target people in need.  Their current video is called Signs of Deception, and features Robert Strupp, Director of Housing Policy from the Community Law Center.  Robert talks about the “WE BUY HOUSES FAST” people who post signs in our communities, in the hopes of finding scores of new victims.  Don’t fall for the scam — watch the video and see what’s being done.

A few ways you can protect yourself:

  • Use a licensed broker to handle your real estate transactions.  You can check to see if a realtor or broker has a valid Maryland license here.
  • You can also search to see if the realtor or broker has been the subject of a disciplinary action by the Maryland DLLR’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.  Unfortunately, the website hasn’t been updated since 2008 — hopefully in the wake of the real estate bust, they’ll bring it up to date soon.
  • Ask for references, and do your homework before trusting anyone with the largest financial decision of your life. Don’t believe in grandiose claims such as “I can guarantee you’ll be able to keep your home.” and “Pay me $5000 and I’ll not only save your home, but fix all of your credit problems.”
  • Remeber the old saying — if sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.