Call for End of Charlotte Bank Foreclosures Rescue Fraud

by on cities

Homeowners are already burdened with finding ways to avoid Charlotte bank foreclosures. Now, they still have to be more vigilant as fraudulent foreclosure prevention schemes are spreading fast across North Carolina.

To help distressed homeowners avoid becoming victims of fraudulent foreclosure prevention schemes, Attorney General Roy Cooper suggested that both federal and state law enforcement should work together to prevent con artists from further victimizing financially-strapped homeowners.

Cooper met with US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and 11 state attorneys general to discuss potential ways to prevent fraudulent foreclosure prevention and loan modification schemes.

Industry experts said that con artists have been victimizing many distressed homeowners who are desperate to save their properties from Charlotte bank foreclosures. They said that fraudulent rescue schemes are costing homeowners money and time which they could not afford to lose if they are struggling to save their properties from foreclosures.

Cooper told those in the meeting that in North Carolina, the government has intensified its efforts to go after con artists who ask for money from distressed homeowners in exchange for help in preventing foreclosures but do nothing or little to save them.

Many homeowners in North Carolina are concerned about losing their homes to foreclosures. Con artists are aware of this desperation and tried to take advantage of it. Foreclosure rescue fraud-related complaints received by Cooper’s office rose dramatically.

In 2007, about seven homeowners complained to the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office about foreclosure prevention fraud.

The number of consumer complaints increased to 82 the following year and so far, totaled 353 this year.

In 2005, a law was implemented statewide making it illegal for companies providing foreclosure prevention assistance to ask for upfront fees. During the meeting, Cooper urged the FTC to implement a national ban on upfront fees for all foreclosure prevention services. He also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to intensify their criminal prosecutions of con artist.

The Attorney General’s office and its Consumer Protection group have used a state law to go after over 130 fraudulent foreclosure prevention schemes since January of last year. The results include recovery of over $100,000 which were refunded to victims and judgments of nearly $1 million.