Mortgage rip-off’s have jumped over 60% in 2012. Avoid Contra Costa Mortgage Fraud! Beware of offers that will help you get a lower rate, refinance, modify or even clear all your debt – for a fee. Remember the old saying?
“If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
Contra Costa Mortgage fraud is so rampant that the California Association of Realtors has produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) you’ll find below as a video. Contra Costa County DA’s office also has an incredible wealth of information and resources if you feel you’ve been scammed, or want to check the legitimacy of an offer you’ve received.
Here is a link to the Contra Costa DA Mortgage Fraud Division.
Here is the text of the Mortgage Fraud PSA:
Mortgage fraud reports have increased nationwide from more than 6,900 in 2003 to more than 93,500 in 2011, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And the nonprofit Homeownership Preservation Foundation reported the number of mortgage foreclosure scams has shot up 60 percent so far in 2012.
In response to the growing fraud, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is educating homeowners and warning consumers they are at risk of being scammed by third parties, such as those that promise loan modifications for an up-front fee, which is illegal.
Many so-called foreclosure rescue companies or foreclosure assistance firms review foreclosure notices in newspapers, the Internet, and public files to identify potential victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They then ask for money up-front and claim they can help homeowners save their home. Some are bold enough to offer a money-back guarantee. However, the scammers simply take the homeowners’ money, often leaving them in worse circumstances than before.
Consumers should NEVER pay money up-front for services promised. Instead, get a referral to a free HUD-approved housing counselor to advise on loan modifications, short sales, and other alternatives for avoiding foreclosure by calling (888) 995-HOPE. http://www.995hope.org/.
Homeowners who have a home loan with one of the participating lenders or servicers should visit their home loan assistance site:
• Ally/GMAC: 800-766-4622
• Bank of America: 877-488-7814
• Citi: 866-272-4749
• JPMorgan Chase: 866-372-6901
• Wells Fargo: 800-288-3212
In addition to the bank loss mitigation phone numbers available (above), you’ll see that the above bank names all link to their website. Most major banks have websites with everything you need to know about their modification, short sale and homeowner help programs. Be careful out there! There really isn’t much you need to pay anyone to do for you! Be careful of claims of class action suits against banks that you can buy into. Be careful of promises to “save your home,” or sell it back to you.
Avoid Contra Costa Mortgage fraud by learning the signs, asking lots of questions of a third party (i.e. a trusted realtor, the local DA’s office or a friend or family member) and ALWAYS remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is NO magic bullet, or any secret no one else knows.
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