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Mortgage Loan Modification Scams Continue Their Rise in California

July 13, 2009

People who are willing to prey on desperate homeowners continue to find easy pickings in California, the Los Angeles Times reported July 5. According to the newspaper, the California Department of Real Estate has seen its caseload of alleged scams rise from 10 in 2008 to more than 750 -- so far -- this year. Officials said part of the problem is the bad economy and the continued high rate of foreclosures, which is expected to increase this year. That creates homeowners who are desperate, and as California Attorney General Jerry Brown told the newspaper, desperate people do desperate things.

The article details the problems faced by Maricela Castellanos, a homeowner in Hesperia who fell victim to an elaborate loan modification scam. After her husband was laid off and they fell behind on their mortgage payments, she received a letter that looked like it was from her mortgage lender. It said she could sign up for a free program that would save her home by giving her a more affordable loan. She signed up right away and sent payments totaling more than $5,000. Months later, she was horrified to learn that the bank had never received those payments or heard of the program, and her loan was still delinquent. Some intermediaries have been convicted for their parts in the scheme, but authorities believe that the ringleaders are still at large and may have fled to Mexico.

As Lancaster loan modification lawyers, we're glad the media is keeping attention focused on the issue of loan modification scams. While some of these scams are easy to spot, others take people in because they look legitimate, using names and logos intended to look like they come from the government or the victim's mortgage lender. As a result, untold numbers of Californians continue to be taken in, sending money to crooks instead of using it to stay out of default or make ends meet. The California and federal governments are pursuing complaints and criminal cases against many foreclosure rescue scammers, but consumers should beware of any plan asking them to send money to someone other than their lender.

The law firm of Howard Law LLP offers an alternative to these fly-by-night loan modification companies. Because we are Long Beach loan modification lawyers, hiring us offers automatic protections that hiring a non-lawyer loan modification company does not. Like all attorneys in the State of California, we have a publicly available (and clean) record of past discipline, and are subject to career-ending further discipline if we are caught taking advantage of our clients. Just as importantly, our status as attorneys means we can frequently get a lender's attention -- after all, when lawyers call, banks know they might soon face a lawsuit. Our Moreno Valley loan modification lawyers put these advantages to work to get clients sustainable loan modifications that lower their monthly payments for good.

If you're facing default on your home loan or foreclosure and you want to fight it, Howard Law can help. To set up a free, confidential consultation, please contact us online or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 today.