Sarasota Real Estate Market News

Program educates public on foreclosure scams

WASHINGTON – Jan. 16, 2012 – According to Loan Modification Scam Alert, a program backed by NeighborWorks America and supported by the U.S. Congress, there is a new foreclosure filing every 15 seconds in America.

NeighborWorks is working with 235 community-based affiliates to educate and protect homeowners from unethical practices. The program says it has three goals: First, alert homeowners about scams. Second, help them spot a scam before it’s too late. Third, encourage them to report scammers to the authorities. The campaign hopes to educate owners at higher risk of scams by telling real-life scam stories in fliers, postcards, door hangers, e-cards, posters, print advertising, local PSAs, events, word of mouth and social media.

Three signs of a scam

According to Loan Modification Scam Alert, foreclosure scams generally have three possible red flags:
• The company asks for a fee in advance.
• The offer comes with a guarantee that a foreclosure can be stopped or a loan modified.
• The homeowner is told to stop paying the mortgage and, in some cases, told to pay the foreclosure relief company instead.

Since the U.S. has a new foreclosure filing every 15 seconds – more than 6,100 per day –  and more than 4.5 million households at risk, scam artists see an opportunity, and Florida remains the top state for foreclosure-related scams.

“Loan modification scams are proliferating at a rapid pace,” the program claims on its website. “Every day, more homeowners are falling prey to the slick advertising and sales pitches that guarantee to keep them in their homes. Many scam artists are openly taking advantage of people in difficult circumstances – online, on the telephone, and sometimes audaciously knocking on doors.”

For more information, to read stories of harmed homeowners or to report a scam, visit the Loan Modification Scam Alert website. (Link underlined to: http://loanscamalert.org/)

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

February 6, 2012 - Posted by | News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures

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