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California Officials Issue Warning About Modification Scams

The ""California State Department of Real Estate"":http://www.dre.ca.gov (DRE) focused its attention on upfront fees this week as it continued to warn consumers of persons illegally offering loan modification and mortgage relief services.
[IMAGE] The DRE claims that typical scams involve the assurance of a loan modification in exchange for an upfront fee, but once the fee is paid, the loan modification is not pursued. Such fees are illegal, according to the DRE.

""With so many homeowners facing financial hardship, foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams are very prevalent, and consumers need to be on guard,"" said Jeff

[COLUMN_BREAK]

Davi, DRE commissioner. ""We have seen many variations of scams, but most all involve the collection of illegal advance fees. If someone asks for money upfront, that is a huge red flag.""

Since 2008, the DRE has pursued more than 4,500 cases that involved loan modification complaints, resulting in 244 ""desist and refrain"" orders to stop illegal operations that name 785 separate respondents.

The vast majority of these orders involve people who are not licensed to provide loan modification or mortgage-related services or collect illegal advance fees. Those licensees named in the accusations face the revocation of their real estate licenses.

The DRE has also filed 88 claims accusing 159 different real estate licensees of violating the real estate law in connection with offering loan modification services. The DRE has made more than 100 referrals to the California State Bar identifying attorneys involved in unlawful loan modification activities. The Bar has filed against or revoked the licenses of 40 attorneys.

The ""DRE's Web site"":http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_alerts.html shows all the recipients of desist and refrain orders and accusations in loan modification complaints.

About Author: Heather Cernoch

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