It’s a sad fact of life, but unscrupulous vultures are always ready to pick at the flesh of the most financially distressed.
It is also refreshing to hear that San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is asking San Diego Realtors to help her track down and prosecute real estate fraudsters operating in our county.
We have written before about the foreclosure and loan modification scams that prey upon distressed San Diego home owners who are struggling to stay in their homes. The DA’s office is aggressively trying to warn homeowners to stay away from these San Diego real estate crooks and their fraudulent offers of mortgage and loan modification assistance–and is asking us, as San Diego Realtors, to report any suspicious activity.
All too often, unwitting and desperate home owners will pay an upfront fee to a person or company who promises to prevent foreclosure–or to modify existing mortgage loan terms. And all too often, people are paying for services they never receive–and might be better off with a do-it-yourself loan modification.
San Diego real estate agents are also advised to be wary of “sanctuary” scams, where these real estate vultures claim ownership of vacant or foreclosed homes via the filing of phony (but official-looking) grant deeds with the County Recorder’s Office. And even though these documents don’t actually transfer title, they do cloud ownership and create havoc with the law enforcement agencies.
In California, it is illegal for foreclosure consultants to acquire distressed real estate from their clients, and it is also illegal for California real estate licensees to charge upfront fees for loan modification services without first meeting strict requirements laid out by the California Derpartment of Real Estate.
Michael Groch, chief of the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Division, is asking San Diego Realtors and citizens to report all potential real estate scams to his office. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office can be reached online or at (619) 531-4475.
If you are interested in a short sale for your San Diego home, or other loan modification resources, feel free to call Mike or Roberta Murphy (877)818-8197 or 760-402-9101/9102.