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Answers to questions about a foreclosure rescue scam mailing

Answers to questions about a foreclosure rescue scam mailing

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A couple weeks ago you may remember reading about how the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division sent out over 14,000 letters to homeowners to educate them about foreclosure rescue scams

We are getting calls from homeowners who received our letter that have valid concerns.  Below are some of the common questions we are receiving and answers that will hopefully help.

We are reviewing our process for educating consumers about foreclosure rescue scams.  If we decide to do another mailing in the future we will be more sensitive to potential errors in any listings we use.

If you have any additional questions about the letter we sent out, feel free to call our Consumer Resource Center toll-free at 1-800-551-4636.

FAQs

Why did the AGO send out these letters? What were we hoping to accomplish?
The Attorney General’s Office sent letters to many homeowners in Washington State to educate them about foreclosure rescue scams.  Foreclosure rescue scammers peruse public listings of homes in foreclosure to target their scamming.  We wanted to send educational information to those most likely to be targets of foreclosure rescue scams.  We felt direct contact was the most effective means of reaching the public.

Where did you get this list? Where did you get my address? Why was my address on this list?
Foreclosure listings are public records available to anyone who seeks them out.  We used listings from a private site that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure to do our mailing.  We did not double check the addresses on the list because regardless of the accuracy of the information, these addresses were listed on a site similar to those used by foreclosure rescue scam artists and we thought that it would still be a good idea to educate potential targets.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

How do I get off the list? Can you take me off the list?
We gathered addresses for our mailing from a private website that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure.  You may want to contact the website we used if you believe your address is listed in error.  Please call out Consumer Resource Center toll-free at 1-800-551-4636 for more information.

Will this affect my credit?
If you received one of our letters it is because your address was listed on a private website that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure.  Being listed on this website will not harm your credit, but being in foreclosure or being delinquent on your mortgage or property tax payments will.  We recommend you contact your lender to ensure you are up to date on your payments.

I don’t own my house, why did I receive this letter? I rent, what am I supposed to do with this letter?
We gathered addresses for our mailing from a private website that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure in an attempt to educate those most likely to be targets of foreclosure rescue scams.  The addresses on this website did not indicate whether the property was occupied by the property owner, or a tenant or renter.  Our mailing was addressed to the “Property Owner.”  We are sorry for any problems this may have caused.
We recommend you forward our letter to your landlord or the property owner, and talk to them if you have any concerns.

Why did you mail this letter to my tenants?
We gathered addresses for our mailing from a private website that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure in an attempt to educate those most likely to be targets of foreclosure rescue scams.  The addresses on this website did not indicate whether the property was occupied by the property owner, or a tenant or renter.  Our mailing was addressed to the “Property Owner.”  We are sorry for any problems this may have caused.

My home is not in foreclosure, why did I receive this letter?
We gathered addresses for our mailing from a private website that lists property addresses they believe to be in foreclosure.  We are sorry for any trouble our letter has caused.  We did not double check the addresses on the list because regardless of the accuracy of the information, these addresses were listed on a site similar to those used by foreclosure rescue scam artists and we thought that it would still be a good idea to educate potential targets. 

Am I in foreclosure? How do I find out whether I am in foreclosure or not?
If you are unsure whether your home is in foreclosure we recommend you first contact your lender.  A second source to contact would be your local county auditor to make sure there isn’t an error on their part, or any indication of fraud.

Where can I find out more about foreclosure?
To find out more about foreclosure, visit www.homeownership.wa.gov or call 1-877-894-HOME to receive free state-sponsored foreclosure and homeownership counseling.

Posted by Consumer Protection at 09/18/2008 11:18:52 AM | 


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