Mortgage Foreclosure "Rescue" Could Cost You Your Home

Our office is aware of reports from other states that involve bogus foreclosure "rescue" scams. Some unscrupulous con artists allegedly purchase lists of homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure because of delinquent mortgage payments. The frightened consumers are then peppered with offers of assistance to "save your home." Reportedly, some homeowners unwittingly sign away their home ownership to the very individual or company they believe is trying to help them.

If you are facing possible foreclosure on your home, be cautious of anyone who offers to "rescue" your home. Do not sign a contract you do not fully understand. Be aware that many consumers have signed what they believed to be paperwork for a loan only to discover that they have sold their homes for a fraction of the fair market value.

Homeowners with problems that could result in mortgage default or foreclosure on their property should consider contacting a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. To locate a HUD-approved counselor, call (800) 569-4287. For additional information from HUD regarding foreclosures visit: www.hud.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm and www.hud.gov/faqs/faqforeclose.cfm.

General Abbott's signature
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

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ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.

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