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Letter to the Editor: Beware Loan Modification 'Con Artists'

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen warns residents about mortgage crimes.

Hello. I’m Jeff Rosen, District Attorney of Santa Clara County, with an important message for homeowners.

If you are facing foreclosure, my office is taking action to help.

Recently, we prosecuted and convicted two defendants for running a business that promised homeowners behind on their mortgages that the homeowner could get their mortgage terms changed.

These "con artists" convinced scared homeowners to stop speaking with their lender and instead pay the defendants an advance fee. With the help of the San Jose Police Department, the defendants’ business was shut down, and they were sentenced to several years in state prison and ordered to pay back the victim homeowners.

The con artists violated the Foreclosure Consultants Act. It is a crime for anyone, even an attorney or real estate agent, to collect advance fees to perform loan modification services on a home mortgage.

People should, instead, use a HUD-certified foreclosure counselor. Find one by calling the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Foreclosure Help Hotline at 408-794-1242.

The District Attorney’s Office also sends a letter to most homeowners whose home gets a notice of foreclosure, officially called a Recorded Notice of Default. In our letter, we tell you about the Foreclosure Help Hotline and the key points of the Foreclosure Consultants Act.

You can get more information from my office by leaving a message on the District Attorney’s Real Estate and Foreclosure Fraud Hotline at 408-792-2879.

jackie bohn August 21, 2011 at 12:20 AM
We were taken in by this criminal duo and lost our home, our savings, our credit, our health and most of all our dignity. As older home owners in our early 60's, we followed the advice of a "friend in banking" and were contacted by criminals. I hope they are convicted for life and in prison where they cannot hurt other Innocent people. Our trust of others has evaporated and our happy go lucky attitude is gone. BEWARE of anyone who disguises themselves as these two did. You will never recover.
Claudia Cruz August 21, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Sorry to hear about what happened. What would you have done differently?
jackie bohn August 22, 2011 at 02:51 AM
I would have not let my husband contact an old acquaintance for a referral. He made a horrible choice and we suffered for it.

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