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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Calfornia Takes Action Against Foreclosure Consultants

There are few things lower than taking advantage of somebody going through financially hard times, but scam artists have been known to prey upon desperation to fleece new victims. With foreclosures at epidemic levels, the State of California has acted against some of the worst of such slime, known as a "foreclosure consultant". These scammers take money from people who are being foreclosed on while providing nothing of value to the debtors.

California Civil Code Section 2945 provides:

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that homeowners whose residences are in foreclosure are subject to fraud, deception, harassment, and unfair dealing by foreclosure consultants from the time a Notice of Default is recorded …until [the property is foreclosed]. Foreclosure consultants represent that they can assist homeowners who have defaulted on obligations secured by their residences. These foreclosure consultants, however, often charge high fees, the payment of which is often secured by a deed of trust on the residence to be saved, and perform no service or essentially a worthless service. Homeowners, relying on the foreclosure consultants’ promises of help, take no other action, are diverted from lawful businesses which could render beneficial services, and often lose their homes, sometimes to the foreclosure consultants who purchase homes at a fraction of their value before the sale. Vulnerable homeowners are increasingly relying on the services of foreclosure consultants who advise the homeowner that the foreclosure consultant can obtain the remaining funds from the foreclosure sale if the homeowner executes an assignment of the surplus, a deed, or a power of attorney in favor of the foreclosure consultant. This results in the homeowner paying an exorbitant fee for a service when the homeowner could have obtained the remaining funds from the trustee’s sale from the trustee directly for minimal cost if the homeowner had consulted legal counsel or had sufficient time to receive notices from the trustee pursuant to
Section 2924j regarding how and where to make a claim for excess proceeds.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that foreclosure consultants have a significant impact on the economy of this state and on the welfare of its citizens.

(c) The intent and purposes of this article are the following:

(1) To require that foreclosure consultant service agreements be expressed in writing; to safeguard the public against deceit and financial hardship; to permit rescission of foreclosure consultation contracts; to prohibit representations that tend to mislead; and to encourage fair dealing in the rendition of foreclosure services.

(2) The provisions of this article shall be liberally construed to effectuate this intent and to achieve these purposes.

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At September 26, 2009 2:49 PM , Blogger Sergio said...

Yes there are scam artists, just like in any industry. This one in particular is not regulated. The biggest scam artists we all know are the banks that had a huge part in this epidemic and the vile loan officers/brokers That put these gullible people in these loans. Everyone owns a home in the 90's campaign led to this disaster. Thanks to congressmen Barney Frank Do you have any idea what can happen if you take control of your modification and you get denied? Ramifications are dyer. Your on the street if you give up. One can do this themselves but one can also apply postulate papers to apply for immigration too. But wont you feel comfortable giving it to an attorney that does this for a living. Statistically Bank of America is modifying 4% of there loans according to Newsday in NY. Chase 20%. Indymac will not postpone a sale date as of Aug 4rth. The banks are the problem and should be paying modification companies instead of trying to get rid of them. Believe it or not a knowledgeable rep can help the community by preventing or abolishing the foreclosure sale of a home. Thus decreasing the amount of vacant homes due to foreclosure in a given neighborhood which will in part decrease the losses of a bank if one gets the Homeowner modified. This will impede the lowering of property value in a given community.


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