Statewide public service announcement campaign to educate homeowners
LOS ANGELES, CA – December 21, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) is distributing a public service announcement (PSA) to television and radio stations across California to warn consumers that they are at risk from scammers who offer phony mortgage modification schemes to troubled borrowers. The PSA is designed to allow media outlets to use their recognized talent to alert consumers and will run throughout the holiday season, a time of year that is traditionally high in consumer scam attempts. (The 30-second script is attached.)
“We are encouraging every TV and radio station in California to air this important public service announcement,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. “Every week, we hear reports of unscrupulous con artists who have taken advantage of unknowing, financially troubled homeowners. In most cases, charging upfront fees or payments for a mortgage modification is not just a rip-off. It’s illegal.”
Especially in this down economy, con artists use many different tactics to prey upon home owners, making the stressful situation of facing foreclosure even more difficult. For example, homeowners who fall victim to these scams are promised loan modifications and reduced monthly payments in exchange for upfront fees paid to third party operators, which is illegal. Moreover, there’s no need for these services. Working with third party operators may not improve a home owner’s chance of payment modification. Furthermore, certain advice that may be provided by these third parties, like stopping mortgage payments, can be extremely detrimental to working with the homeowner’s mortgage servicer.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, these scammers review foreclosure notices in newspapers, the Internet, and public files to identify potential victims. Ads that scammers place online, on television, and in newspapers claiming to “Stop foreclosure now” and offering “money back guarantees” are suspect and should be reviewed cautiously by the home owner.
C.A.R. wants homeowners to protect themselves this holiday season by visiting car.org for tips to avoid mortgage modification scams.
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Consumer PSA warning of loan modification fraud
- (INSERT NAME OF MEDIA OUTLET) and the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are working to protect homeowners from foreclosure-related scams. In difficult times, bad operators are conning homeowners, such as by promising loan modifications and reduced monthly payments in exchange for upfront fees.
- These offers may seem “too good to be true” because they are…don’t fall for it. In most cases, charging upfront fees or payments for a mortgage modification is not just a rip-off…it’s illegal.
- For tips to avoid mortgage modification scams, visit CAR.org. California REALTORS® and (MEDIA OUTLET) want you to be safe at home this holiday season.