Homeowners on Long Island have enough of a hard time keeping up with some of the highest housing costs in the country. Scam after scam, preying on locals only makes it harder. So what can be done to fend off the fraudsters and save more homes?
A new August 2014 Fox News reports reveals 1 in 4 Americans are barely getting by already. Buy Association reports that every $1,000 US home prices go up, another 206,000 are booted out of the market for buying a home. The last thing anyone needs is a predatory organization hitting them where it hurts the most – at home.
On August 7th, 2014 a Suffolk County resident was charged with running the largest mortgage scheme ever prosecuted. The mortgage modification racket took $18.5M from desperate homeowners already struggling to keep their homes. After giving up everything they had, many are likely to lose their properties to foreclosure. More vacant properties can also push up local property taxes for everyone else.
Of course many would argue these homeowners were already doomed after being duped into predatory loans by banks. Some may have even been struck with a double whammy as their investment portfolios and retirement savings were wiped out in financial markets due to the same lenders and loans. The investigations are ongoing, with Bank of America nearing a new $17B mortgage settlement with the US Justice Department over misdeeds in the run up to the financial crisis.
The banks in turn might blame the lead they’ve seen by other leaders. After all if the government admittedly keeps on sending out property tax bills that are overblown and take advantage of homeowners, with the threat of foreclosure, if they go unpaid, and no real attempt is made to fix the system, how can more be expected of private institutions?
So where does this leave Long Island homeowners?
Firmly on the defensive. Yet, with a need to be proactive about pushing back.
Homeowners are wise to be very careful about phone solicitations, and watching who they borrow from. Check how long they have been in business, and what their online reputation looks like.
Fortunately property taxes are actually one of the easiest scams to beat. Those in Suffolk and Nassau County shouldn’t be timid about challenging their property tax bills, and can always contact Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd. for assistance in getting their bills corrected and reduced making homes more affordable.