Public Awareness Campaign Empowers Homeowners to Combat Loan Modification Scams

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A press conference and campaign kick-off are scheduled at City Hall in Riverside on Friday, June 11 at 9:00 a.m. to announce the “Loan Modification Scam Alert” campaign, a national initiative designed to combat loan modification scams.

A mobile "Loan Modificaion Scam Alert" center in Los Angeles

Too many residents in the Inland Empire, like homeowners nationwide, are losing thousands of dollars and their homes to scam artists who make big promises and then do little or nothing to help them save their homes

On Friday, June 11, a partnership of local, state and national government agencies, nonprofit organizations and financial institutions will gather at the steps of City Hall in Riverside to launch a public education campaign designed to help homeowners protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted help and report illegal activity to authorities. The press conference and kick-off are among several events held in recent months in cities across the country to announce the “Loan Modification Scam Alert” campaign, a national initiative designed to combat loan modification scams.

California has consistently posted one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates. The Inland Empire is among several metropolitan areas in California to consistently rank among areas with the highest foreclosure rates.

“Too many residents in the Inland Empire, like homeowners nationwide, are losing thousands of dollars and their homes to scam artists who make big promises and then do little or nothing to help them save their homes,” said Thomas Coates, program manager for the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire, a nonprofit organization comprised of a number of HUD-approved counseling agencies that do not charge consumers a fee for housing counseling. “Anyone can be a victim and the people of the Inland Empire need to know what resources are available to them. They need to know that legal aid groups, financial institutions, and HUD-certified counselors are offering free services to anyone seeking help.”

The regional kickoff event will feature representatives from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, NeighborWorks® America, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, the local faith-based community, the Better Business Bureau of the Southland, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Trade Commission and local housing counseling agencies, including the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire, Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services and Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management. Also present will be local homeowners to share their personal experiences with loan modification scams to inform other homeowners in their community about this activity.

NeighborWorks® America will coordinate the nationwide effort through its 235 community-based affiliates and other local, state and national partner organizations, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Together, the partners aim to reach thousands of distressed homeowners in hundreds of communities at high risk for fraud activity. The campaign will target all audiences, but its resources are focused sharpest on those groups that have already seen high levels of scam activity, including seniors, Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans.

Hands-on training will be provided to housing counselors to help them identify homeowners who have been victims of loan modification scams.

The press conference and campaign kick-off will begin at 9:00 a.m., Friday, June 11 at City Hall, located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92522.

About the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire
The Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire (HOCIE) is comprised of organizations working together sharing best practices and resources to deliver comprehensive support to individuals and families in their quest for sustainable homeownership.    The HOCIE is a sister agency to the Housing Opportunities Collaborative (HOC), a coalition of nonprofit organizations and agencies originally formed in the San Diego region in 2006. The HOCIE is located at 1201 Research Park Drive, Suite 100, Riverside, CA 92507. For more information on the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire, call (951) 742-8211 or visit their web site at http://www.hocie.org.

About NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks America is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance and training for community-based revitalization efforts. NeighborWorks includes a national network of 235 community-based organizations in 50 states, which strives to create healthy communities through the work of thousands of residents, business people, government officials and other partners.

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