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CFPB Files Suits for Operations that Used Deception and False Promises to Collect More than $25 Million in Illegal Fees from Distressed Homeowners.

This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount that were stolen from the consumer, but it is a good start.

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Foreclosure relief scams: In my earlier blog I discussed the numerous lawsuits brought by the feds and several states against law firms in Arizona: CFPB Files Suits for Operations that Used Deception and False Promises to Collect More than $25 Million in Illegal Fees from Distressed Homeowners

Here is a Consumer advisory from the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

There are red flags that a company claiming to offer legal foreclosure relief help may not be worth your money.

Warning signs:

There are red flags that a company claiming to offer legal foreclosure relief help may not be worth your money. Watch for the following warning signs and ask more questions:

  1. Demands for payment upfront. If a lawyer or someone claiming to offer legal help wants to be paid first—before you receive a modification—they may be breaking the law. A licensed lawyer can ask you to pay first but only if the lawyer is licensed in the state where you live or where your house is located. Even a licensed lawyer in your state can only receive up-front payments if they meet other requirements about what they charge for, how they deposit the money, and if they comply with all other state laws and regulations.
  2. Any claim that a modification is guaranteed.Your mortgage company must agree before you can get a modification. A lawyer or someone claiming to offer legal help cannot guarantee you will get a loan modification.
  3. A hard sell. Most licensed lawyers do not call or e-mail you directly and push you hard to pay money right away. If someone claiming to be a lawyer calls you on the phone and asks you to sign papers or pay them right away, ask some more questions to be sure it’s not a scam. Here’s a guide to help you determine if it’s real legal help or a foreclosure scam.

Note from Diane: the sad side of these scams bad people pray on innocent, desperate people. This has been true since the dawn of time. The Internet is a great tool for people to investigate their options, but you must also be very careful about the misrepresentations that run a muck.

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Diane L. Drain

Diane L. Drain, bankruptcy attorney, retired law professor, mentor and community spokesperson.

About Diane Drain:

Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.

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