Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Be Careful! Fraudulent Foreclosure "Help" on the Rise

The fastest-growing consumer complaint in 2009 was related to fraudulent offers to help "save" homes from foreclosure, according to a report released yesterday from the Consumer Federation of America.

The Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators have released  their 15th report (The 2009 Consumer Complaint Survey Report) regarding consumer complaints. The results in the report come from a survey of 33 state, county, and city agencies from 18 states on the most common consumer complaints received from January 2009 through December 2009.

According to the report, consumer complaints are on the rise, and more than half the agencies reported that they received more complaints in 2009 than in 2008. In addition, many of the complaints, like those about bogus foreclosure offerings, were related to the economy. Others included complaints about aggressive collection practices, debt settlement and other types of debt relief services, landlord and tenant problems resulting from foreclosures and job scams.

The report includes egregious examples of some of these foreclosure rescue scams and what actions many States Attorney Generals' offices are taking to combat them. 

In Minnesota... there is a coalition of over 70 organizations, agencies and companies that have come togother to fight these scams.  "Look Before You Leap" a statewide public education campaign seeking to raise public awareness about the booming foreclosure rescue scam industry and its dangerous implications for struggling and unsuspecting home owners, and to connect struggling home owners with the Center’s network of foreclosure counselors.

If you're not familiar with the campaign... you can learn more on our Facebook Page and our website.

If you, or someone you know is struggling with mortgage payments...  BE CAREFUL and don't wait until it's too late. To find your local non-profit, FREE Foreclosure Counselor, click here. For additional information about preventing foreclosure in Minnesota, click here.

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