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Scammers Take Advantage of Florida Foreclosures



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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Florida foreclosures rate was the second highest in the United States in 2008. About 4.52 percent or one in every 22 homeowners has filed for Florida foreclosures.

Data released showed that Florida foreclosures remained unabated last year. Following is a breakdown of Florida foreclosure rates by cities:

  • Orlando – 5.48 percent or 1 in every 18 housing units
  • Fort Lauderdale – 5.95 percent or 1 in every 17 housing units
  • Tampa Bay – 4.14 percent affecting 53,630 housing units
  • Miami – 5.21 percent or 1 in every 19 households has received foreclosure filings
  • Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice – 4.5 percent up by 153.58 percent from 2007
  • Palm Beach – 3.71 percent, a rise of 96.33 percent from 2007
  • Jacksonville – 2.99 percent up by 78.46 from 2007

As Florida foreclosures continue to increase, it is no wonder then that scammers will take advantage of owners of distressed properties who want to avoid foreclosures. Since last year, thousands of distressed homeowners have been defrauded by individuals or companies of their hard earned money or been made to sign over their properties to scammers who guise themselves as foreclosure rescuers.

Data of Florida foreclosures fraud released by the state attorney general’s office indicated an abnormal growth of complaints from 9 in November of last year to 227 in February of 2009.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief financial investigator Sharon Ormsby noted that a percentage of federal relief funds usually fell on the hands of scammers.

About 35 regional offices have been established by the FBI nationwide to fight mortgage fraud and help desperate homeowners who would do anything to keep their properties.

However Consumer Warning Network’s Angie Moreschi said that if foreclosures would remain unabated for long, the number of Americans who would fall prey to scammers will soon reach an exorbitant number which would be difficult for any agency to handle.

Moreschi is expecting that President Barack Obama’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program would entice lenders to modify loans and at the same time, attract scam artists who also want to illegally get a slice of the aid intended for homeowners facing foreclosure threat.

She warned that in some cases, mortgage brokers who offered to modify distressed homeowners’ loans are also the ones who will defraud them.

RealtyTrac, a company that monitors the foreclosures market, predicted that homeowners facing foreclosures could grow to 3 million.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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