• LAW AGAINST SHORT SALE DEFICIENCIES EXPANDED

    LAW AGAINST SHORT SALE DEFICIENCIES EXPANDED

    In a major victory for REALTORS®, Governor Brown signed into law today a C.A.R.-sponsored bill, Senate Bill 458, prohibiting a deficiency after a short sale for one-to-four residential units, regardless of whether the lender is a senior or junior lienholder.  Effective immediately for transactions closing escrow from this day forward, both senior and junior lienholders […]

  • Short Sales Get Shorter: New Deadlines to go into Effect

    Short Sales Get Shorter: New Deadlines to go into Effect

    Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, March 15, 2012 As part of a settlement with state attorneys general, the five largest mortgage servicers are adopting new requirements for short sales, which is expected to speed-up what has been known as a lengthy process. Here are some of the new requirements for servicers under the settlement:  […]

  • 18 Percent of Current Mortgages Underwater

    18 Percent of Current Mortgages Underwater

        Correlation Between Negative Equity and New Problem Loans   September 10, 2012 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sept. 10, 2012 – The July Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS) shows that national foreclosure inventories remain stable – and near historic highs – while delinquencies, down 30 percent from the January 2010 […]

  • Short sales in California surpass sales of foreclosed homes

    Short sales in California surpass sales of foreclosed homes

    In recent months, short sales have surpassed sales of foreclosed homes in California for the first time since the start of the housing crash in 2007, data show. January 08, 2013|By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times   When housing prices first went off the cliff, most mortgage lenders refused to cut deals with homeowners, choosing […]

  • Avoiding Mortgage Relief Scams

    Avoiding Mortgage Relief Scams

    The offers seem like answers to the prayers of a struggling homeowner: A promise of legal tactics to forestall foreclosure, reduce mortgage balances and interest rates, or restore credit.  But these so-called mass joinder lawsuits being advertising in mailings are fraudulent – sent out by companies purporting to be law firms, according to a consumer […]


The offers seem like answers to the prayers of a struggling homeowner: A promise of legal tactics to forestall foreclosure, reduce mortgage balances and interest rates, or restore credit.  But these so-called mass joinder lawsuits being advertising in mailings are fraudulent – sent out by companies purporting to be law firms, according to a consumer alert by the Federal Trade Commission’s (F.T.C.) website.

Making sense of the story

Consumers can lose valuable time to these dishonest players – not to mention money.  The nonprofit Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law estimates that homeowners nationwide who reported scams to its database have lost more than $60 million in the last two years alone.
There are many credible law firms around to help homeowners.  But some businesses might be promoting themselves as providers of legal services, they might have only one lawyer on retainer, as a way around F.T.C. rules that allow only lawyers to collect upfront fees on mortgage aid.
Such firms, and people posting as lawyers, are fueling a 60 percent jump in complaints about mortgage scams this year, according to a report by the homeownership Preservation Foundation, which helps distressed homeowners.
When speaking with a lawyer, consumers might ask about the lawyer’s track record, including documentation of successes via media reports or signed court documents awarding borrowers money or relief.
Consumers should beware of promises.  According to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, “legitimate lawyers don’t make guarantees, just like doctors don’t.”
There are plenty of free services available at nonprofit groups certified by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® also has information available about short-sale and foreclosure-prevention fraud.  Visit http://www.car.org/aboutus/forconsumers/loanfraud/ for more information.

  • Other Recent Articles

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        Short sale tax break on verge of being extended until 2017 Homeowners who had short sales in 2015 are about to get big break on their taxes, thanks for a massive federal spending bill that’s about to be signed into law by President Obama. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was set to expire […]

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  • FHFA keeps Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits

    2015 Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits For Loans Via Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac 2015 LOAN LIMITS: 10TH YEAR AT $417,000 2015 conforming loan limits are set at $417,000 for a single-family home, which is the same as the prior-year levels, dating back to 2006. Leaving mortgage loan limits unchanged helps existing U.S. homeowners to refinance; and gives […]

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  • New Rules Could Help Distressed Homeowners

    Some distressed homeowners will find it easier to get federal money to pay their mortgages from the state’s Keep Your Home California program under new rules that take effect Monday. The program has been criticized for not spending more of the $2 billion it got in 2010 from the U.S. Treasury Department to help struggling homeowners. As of Sept. […]

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  • New short-sale program offers relief for underwater homeowners

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  • Freddie Mac warns of bogus landlords renting out foreclosed homes.

    By Kenneth R. Harney October 21, 2012 WASHINGTON — No one wants to take the blame for the housing bust in this political season, but scammers and rip-off artists in the hundreds are working overtime to siphon dollars out of the wreckage of the crash and its still-vulnerable victims. You’ve probably heard about the loan-modification […]

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  • What California short sellers need to know before tax-time

    What California short sellers need to know before tax-time February 6, 2014 August 6, 2015 update: Congress extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to cover short sales, foreclosure sales and cramdowns through the end of 2014. If your seller had debt discharged in this manner in 2014, they are eligible to exclude this principal discount from their taxable […]

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  • Prepping for the summer wave of short sales

    By Linda Stern WASHINGTON | Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:53am EDT (Reuters) – Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A late-summer wave of short sales, as homeowners, mortgage bankers and potential buyers all race to settlement on bargain-priced homes that are worth less than the mortgages written on them. “We’re seeing a rush already,” […]

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  • Clearing the Decks on California Foreclosures

     Clearing the decks , foreclosures in Southern California peaked in January, the highest level in 2 years, but this would seem to be more a matter of lenders clearing their books than a new wave of bad loans.The number of homes repossessed by banks in Los Angeles County nearly tripled from December to the highest level since December […]

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  • Negative equity remains a drag on housing market

    Even as a tentative housing recovery in the Southland appears underway, a big stumbling block remains: the vast number of underwater homeowners. Nearly 1 in 3 homeowners with a mortgage in Los Angeles County owes more on the loan than the property is worth, according to fresh data from real estate website Zillow. In the […]

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  • Lenders using a variety of tools to prevent mortgage fraud

    Borrowers considering inflating their income, even just a tad, checking the box to indicate they plan to live in the home when they’re not, or exaggerating their job description better think twice. Lenders are turning to websites and other tools to help nab fraudulent borrowers and perjurers looking to bilk lenders out of hundreds of […]

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