Arizona’s Attorney General Terry Goddard visited the desert southwest Wednesday to educate homeowners about forclosure rescue scams. Goddard says more and more reports of rescue scams are filtering through his office because desperate homeowners will buy into any scheme that offers a glimmer of hope.
“They all have variations of the same deal which is you may not be able to fix it, but I can. We can get you a modification. We can get you a cram down loan. We can get you a lower payment,” says Goddard. He has filed complaints against numerous crooks leaving vulnerable home owners high and dry.
Goddard discussed some of the red flags of a rescue scam. The business asks for money up front, the offer has a deadline and demands you to act now, and the business guarantees a positive outcome despite knowing nothing about your financial situation.
“One, don’t panic. You may be in trouble, but there is some relief out there. Second, call a legitimate counselor, one of the non-profits that are certified by HUD. The last part is deal with your service or your lender. They’re motivated right now to try to keep you in their home.”
Goddard just recently filed a lawsuit against the Property Tax Review Board. The company has sent thousands of letters to homeowners in the southwest promising to lower property taxes for a $189 fee.
“The good news is we were able to stop it at the post office box so that over 5,000 people who sent in their checks for $189 are going to get their money back,” says Goddard.
If you would like to learn more about housing counselors and tips to avoid foreclosure, you can log on to the Arizona Attorney General’s website at www.azag.gov.
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