FHA borrowers have a new resource to look to in order to become more educated borrowers and avoid foreclosure scams. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a new awareness campaign called Know It. Avoid It. Report It.
According to an April 18, 2011 HUD press release, the campaign has launched in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles and has two missions; one to direct homeowners in financial trouble toward reputable counselors and anti-foreclosure resources, the other to get the help of homeowners to shut down scams and con artists.
The HUD press release warns home owners, “Newly deceptive scam artist tactics lure homeowners into misleading agreements. Their tactics include giving the false impression that they are affiliated with the government, charging illegal up-front fees, and executing fraudulent lease-back, financing, and repurchase schemes.”
HUD wants to educate FHA borrowers and those with conventional loans alike, raising awareness of scam warning signs and teaching home owners how to avoid becoming a victim of a con artist. The HUD press release says foreclosure scams often prey on some Americans more than others. Know It, Avoid It, Report It aims to empower all homeowners to stop fraud in its tracks.
“The campaign wants to solicit the support of homeowners in shutting down scammers who regularly target the elderly, Hispanics, and African Americans…objectives will be pursued through education and outreach, anti-scam reporting tools, and close cooperation with federal, state, local, and non-profit partners.”
“With millions of homeowners in foreclosure or at risk of losing their homes” the press release says, “as they fall behind on mortgage payments, and eight million Americans expected to face foreclosure now through 2012, the timing of this campaign could not be more prudent.”
Homeowners should call 1-888-995-HOPE (4763) or visit www.hud.gov/preventloanscams to get more information about fraud and to report suspected scammers.