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05/03/11

For many homeowners, false hope

"Marlon Hernandez was sick with worry that he would lose his Malden home to foreclosure two years ago. Then the Salvadoran immigrant heard a Spanish-language radio advertisement that sounded like the answer to his problems.

In the ad, Revere lawyer David Zak said he helped troubled homeowners negotiate with banks. Hernandez paid Zak $5,600 to help lower his unmanageable monthly mortgage payment. But Hernandez said he never got the promised services. [...]

'These for-profit loan-modification companies are making a bad situation worse,' said Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that is spearheading a national campaign against mortgage scams. 'Vulnerable homeowners come in contact with someone posing as an expert and offering to help them negotiate better mortgage terms. Little do they know it’s a scam.'"

Click here to read the full story at the Boston Globe.