Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Busted
Today the FBI and the Department of Justice indicted 19 people involved in a foreclosure scam that netted nearly $12 million from almost 120 homeowners from all over the country, primarily in California.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
to hear the full audio of today's announcement:
It's a type of scam that CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian first reported on last July after finding victims from Maryland to Georgia. (Watch the story by clicking here.)
Foreclosure rescue scams target desperate homeowners facing foreclosure by promising to help "save" or "rescue" their homes. In a typical scenario, a homeowner is convinced to surrender the title of his or her home in order to become a renter with the promise of buying back the home in a few years. Instead, the homeowner is never able to buy back the home and the scammer or "rescuer" takes off with all the equity. (In some cases, homeowners are told to sign a bunch of documents without realizing they are signing over the ownership of their homes.)
Elizabeth Renuart of the National Consumer Law Center – an advocacy group – says homeowners in financial trouble should first speak to their lender to work on a payment plan before getting allured in by any kind of "rescues."