AG Warns of Scams from $25B Mortgage Settlement

by devteam March 7th, 2012 | Share

The ink is barely dry on the $25 billionrndollar mortgage settlement with banks that is meant, in part, to compensate homebuyersrnhurt by fraudulent foreclosures but the scam artists are already at therndoor.  The Rhode Island Attorney Generalrnis warning consumers in his state that some homeowners have been contacted byrnindividuals claiming to have a list of persons eligible for funds from thernsettlement and are misrepresenting their credentials.  </p

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin saidrnthat persons have been reported to be posing as bank employees or settlement administratorsrnand requesting bank account information in order to deposit settlement fundsrninto the homeowner’s account.  Kilmartinrnsaid none of the lenders, who will eventually be responsible for contactingrneligible homeowners, have yet begun to do so.</p

There have been other reports thatrnfliers are appearing in Rhode Island neighborhoods that have been particularly hardrnhit by foreclosures offering assistance in obtaining mortgage modifications.</p

Kilmartin said, “Unfortunately, during this time when many Rhode Islandrnhomeowners are struggling with their mortgages or facing foreclosure, there arernunscrupulous scam artists seeking to take advantage of homeowners in desperaternfinancial straits.  This behavior is notrnonly despicable, but in Rhode Island, it is illegal for an individual or anrnentity to charge an up-front fee to assist with mortgager modification.</p

Individual lenders have set uprnspecial hotlines for borrowers to call with questions about the settlementrnbenefits.  The Attorney General said thatrnconsumers should not give bank account or any other personal information tornanyone of whom they are unsure.  Also, therernare no fees required to participate in the Office of the Comptroller of thernCurrency’s Independent Foreclosure Review Program or in the Attorneys Generalrnsettlement.</p

Answers to frequently asked questions and lender contact information can be found here:

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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