ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the California District
Attorneys Association (CDAA) today announced the launch of a
comprehensive campaign to warn homeowners about the alarming increase in
scams targeting foreclosure victims. With the recent mortgage settlement
between the nations five major banks, troubled homeowners expecting a
new round of assistance to reduce mortgage payments will be prime
targets for these scammers. According to the non-profit Homeownership
Preservation Foundation, reports of these attempted rip-offs have
climbed nearly 60 percent nationwide in 2012 alone.
Joined by Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, Kern County
District Attorney Lisa Green and San Diego County District Attorney
Bonnie Dumanis, C.A.R. officials will hold events this month in
Sacramento, Bakersfield, and San Diego to alert homeowners about the
fraudulent activities targeting those facing foreclosure and offer
information so that consumers can protect themselves and find legitimate
sources of help.
In addition to the regional events, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF
REALTORS® has produced public service announcements in English, Spanish,
Mandarin, and Cantonese to educate homeowners about the unscrupulous
scammers. PSAs will begin airing this month on radio and television
stations throughout California.
Homeowners facing foreclosure are in a vulnerable emotional and
financial situation, and scammers will employ almost any tactic to
exploit them, said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. It is important
that these homeowners know that they should never pay fees in advance to
anyone promising to lower their monthly payment or any other service. In
fact, there are usually no costs associated with modifying a loan.
Our Real Estate Fraud Unit is on the front lines of preventing and
prosecuting mortgage fraud crimes. If someone believes they may have
been a victim of real estate fraud, or for information on how to avoid
becoming a victim, we encourage them to contact our office, said
Sacramento County DA Scully.
C.A.R. advises homeowners to watch for these red flags if someone:
To file a complaint:
Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than
100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org)
is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States
with 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in
real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.