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Repo Homes Fraud Prevention Campaign

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
The federal government has been intensifying its efforts to stop the flood of repo homes that has been damaging the housing market and economy for a long time now. It has launched several programs aimed at helping homeowners save their properties from becoming repo homes.

According to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage delinquency and loans on the brink of becoming repo homes increased by 11 percent during the last quarter of 2008.

The MBA National Delinquency Report noted an 8 percent increase in the number of mortgage loans one month delayed in their payments but not yet in danger of turning into repo homes. The figure represented a 13 percent increased compared to the third quarter of last year.

And the increasing number of distressed homeowners who want to save their properties from becoming repo homes has created a business opportunity for scammers.

Many individuals and companies offer their services to unsuspecting homeowners who want to get refinancing and loan modifications under the foreclosure prevention programs of the federal government.

These scammers will entice distressed homeowners and sell them their services. However, these scammers will require homeowners to pay thousands of dollars of upfront fees. Federal government-certified counseling firms offer their assistance to homeowners for free.

To counter these mortgage scams, the Federal Reserve will launch an awareness campaign to educate distressed homeowners about the dangers of loan frauds. The agency’s public service announcement will start airing in movie theaters across the U.S. starting April 9 of this year.

The awareness campaign will focus on states severely affected by foreclosure. The 30-second advertisement will give advice and warning on how to identify mortgage scams.

The agency hopes that the campaign will prevent scammers from further victimizing distressed homeowners, especially senior citizens who are on the edge of losing their properties to foreclosures.

Data from the Mortgage Asset Research Institute showed that mortgage fraud reports increased 30 percent in 2008, with the most number of fraud cases reported in Florida, Illinois and New Jersey.

According to Ira Rheingold of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, homeowners who are desperate and scared are vulnerable. And because they are vulnerable, they would believe anything even if it is too good to be true.

And scammers take advantage of this vulnerability by offering distressed homeowners something that would be hard for them to resist, a chance to save their properties from becoming repo homes.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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