CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and The California District Attorneys Association Warn Homeowners: Beware of Loan Fraud Scams

The CALIFORNIA

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 nation’s 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.