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FTC Cracks Down On Foreclosure Scam Artists Impersonating Government Programs

Posted By admin || 11-Jul-2010

The Federal Trade Commission is taking legal action against several foreclosure scam artists who are accused of falsely claiming they can modify homeowners' mortgages and offer other types of foreclosure relief. Many of the companies have even gone as far as impersonating government programs such as the Making Home Affordable program and Hope Now mortgage alliance program.

Among the defendants with whom the FTC has reached a settlement is Making Home Affordable, a group which the FTC alleged impersonated, a legitimate government website that helps eligible homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages. The defendants bought advertising links on the results pages of Internet search engines, so that consumers looking for "making home affordable" were diverted to commercial websites pitching loan-modification services or that sold the consumers' personal information to such profit-seeking operations.

Another defendant reaching a settlement with the FTC was New Hope Modifications, which was charged with falsely claiming it could obtain mortgage loan modifications, falsely promising a money-back guarantee and masquerading as part of the federally-endorsed HOPE NOW Alliance mortgage assistance network.

These particular foreclosure scams that involve mimicking government programs are some of the most insidious and dangerous scams because they leverage the trust of victims to steal thousands of dollars from those who are already struggling financially. And many of these scam artists have websites, phone numbers and marketing materials that are quite convincing to the uninformed especially those facing the prospect of losing their home who might feel desperate enough to believe claims that they would not otherwise believe. But there are usually two very big red flags that something is amiss with these so-called foreclosure relief companies 1) they charge up-front fees 2) if they are claiming to be a government affiliated agency but they don't have a .gov website, then you are probably dealing with a scam artist.

Categories: Foreclosures
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