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Don't fall victim to a foreclosure assistance scam

Losing their home is a chief concern for many Ohio residents who are facing financial turmoil. After all, most families dream of owning their own home, and it is a goal that many work toward for a number of years before making the purchase. Holding onto that property through financial difficulties is important, and many homeowners will go to great lengths to avoid losing their home to foreclosure. Unfortunately, there are a multitude of scams aimed at taking advantage of homeowners who are struggling to keep their home, and it is important to know what to look for when evaluating offers of foreclosure assistance.

In fact, three men were recently sentenced in a foreclosure rescue scam operating out of the West Coast. Evidence presented by the prosecution painted a picture of an operation that specifically targeted distressed homeowners and offered to help them restore "free and clear" ownership of their homes. In reality, however, the company was collecting payments for little to no service.

The company was known as Star Reliable Mortgage and offered clients a "loan elimination" service. Clients were told to stop making payments on their mortgage and asked to pay up-front fees of between $2,500 to $4,500 to Star Reliable Mortgage. In total, hundreds of thousands of dollars were collected by the company. The owners and employees filed fraudulent documents in county offices to slow the foreclosure process.

As part of their recent sentencing, the defendants are required to repay former Star Reliable Mortgage clients more than $1.1 million in restitution. They are also ordered to repay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which lost money when clients' homes went through foreclosure. This information is shared in the hopes of educating Ohio homeowners of the dangers of various foreclosure assistance scams. Unfortunately, for every scam that is uncovered, many more remain up and running at any given time.  

Source: recorderonline.com, "Three sentenced in foreclosure rescue scam", July 26, 2017

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