Two national news reports show the devastating effects of loan modification scams.
MSNBC’s report of a Renton family who lost their home shows just how easy it is to fall victim of these scams. According to the report, the FBI has seen more cases of fraud against homeowners in the first quarter of this year then all of 2008. So far, there have been 560 indictments and 338 convictions nationwide.
The man at the podium speaking before a crowd is our own Assistant Attorney General David Huey. Huey spoke to about 200 attorneys earlier this month at a seminar offered by the Washington State Association of Justice, formerly known as the state Trial Lawyers Association. The purpose was to train local attorneys on how to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.
“Attorneys, the nonprofit community, law enforcement, everyone I talk to is putting out to the max, and still there are new complaints and new problems coming in the door,” Huey said.
ABC’s 20/20 spoke with employees of a California-based business called Peoples First Financial who said they were trained to make a hard sell and even lied to homeowners. The story also includes interviews with two families who signed up for assistance but didn’t get it. Among the victims: a doctor and his wife, a real estate agent, which supports our belief that it doesn't matter how educated or affluent you are, anyone can become a victim of a scam -- especially if they're desparate for help.
Let’s be clear: you don’t have to pay a bunch of cash up front for a loan modification. Free help is available.