There are just no shortages of low, unprincipled dogs in the world. Crooks now have discovered a new scheme to take advantage of those in foreclosure. “Foreclosure rescue companies” are springing up everywhere there are an abundance of foreclosures and these swindlers move in on desperate people.
Today’s NYTimes exposes how ubiquitous, smarmy and sleazy these unscrupulous companies are.
Borrowers seeking loan modification are often frustrated that they cannot reach the right people at their lender or that the lender insists on a repayment plan they cannot keep, said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
“When you’re desperate, that’s when the crooks come out,” Mr. Rheingold said. “You’ve tried everything, and a guy calls you up on the phone or there’s an ad on TV, and you have no other options, what do you do? You go to those guys.
Illinois is one state that bans foreclosure rescue companies from taking up -front money. Currently it has filed 22 suits against companies who have violated state law. Other states do not have solid laws on the books that specifically prohibit this kind of swindle and have to approach violations from other angles.
There seems to be an endless abyss when it comes to mortgage fraud. First unqualified buyers are seduced into purchasing homes they cannot afford, based on fraudulent information. When they cannot meet the obligations of their loan, then a second set of unscrupulous vultures come along to gouge them again. It is very difficult to separate legitimate companies from those who are simply crooks.
Will any of those who set up fraudulent mortgages in the first place ever be punished? They can probably live off the fat of the land for a long time. How about this new round of scamsters? Will they be prosecuted? While much of this appears, at least on the surface, to be what has been traditionally known as white collar crime, the unscrupulous behavior in the mortgage industry and its recovery has set off a recession in this country. This greedy, criminal behavior has devalued our homes and thrown markets into tailspins, dried up our savings, and deflated our retirement accounts. These mortgage bastards have robbed the American people no less than if they had put a gun to our heads and told us to give them all our money.