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03/21/12

Homeowners warned against mortgage rescue scams

The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network and the National Consumer Protection Week are alerting homeowners to look out for loan modification scams that pose as representatives from the government's foreclosure assistance programs. Whether homeowners recently called moving services to move into their new home or if they are struggling to keep a home, they should protect themselves from loan modification scams and report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.

Since 2010, the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network and its coalition has reported more than 21,000 homeowners being confronted with loan modification scams, while many others have likely gone unreported. The federal government recently launched two new foreclosure programs to help struggling homeowners. Scammers will try to mimic these programs in an effort to lure in unsuspecting homeowners and take their money.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult for a homeowner to differentiate a scam from a federal program. Millions of Americans continue to face foreclosure each day due to job loss and income reduction. The federal government is working to help homeowners keep their property through loan modifications to make ownership more affordable. To date, 1.3 million have sought foreclosure help through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and spoke with approved counselors. However, many homeowners have tried to receive a loan modification through a scam program, further worsening their financial situation.

"Millions of distressed homeowners have become vulnerable targets to criminal third-party scammers, con artists, and thieves," said Ed Jennings, Jr., Regional Administrator for HUD in Atlanta. "One should never have to pay for foreclosure counseling or assistance, that's why we need homeowners to be vigilant by seeking out HUD-approved housing counseling agencies to obtain help and avoid being scammed."

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