COPY-Fair housing conference focuses on foreclosure - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

04/23/09

COPY-Fair housing conference focuses on foreclosure

By Monica Hernandez - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - With an increasing number of foreclosures on the books, experts are warning homeowners about a new scam that's sweeping the nation. Foreclosure rescue fraud could cost you the very home you're trying to save.

"Some people are in desperate situations, so when someone approaches them and tells them they can help, they are, I guess, grateful, only to later realize they've been taken advantage of," said Tylvester Goss, a Jackson attorney with Davis, Goss and Williams.

Goss is speaking out about the scam at a two-day fair housing, fair lending conference at the Hilton on County Line Road in Jackson. The sold-out conference is sponsored by Housing Education and Economic Development, or HEED, a private, non-profit organization aimed at helping people stay in their homes.

"A lot of these guys will go to the courthouse to see who is delinquent with their mortgage and will contact that individual and say, 'We can remodify your loans for x number of dollars up front,'" said Charles Harris, executive director of HEED.

Harris warns that after you dish out the dollars, the con artist will take off with your money- without working on your loan. According to Harris, some of the scammers once worked for financial institutions.

"A lot of these guys are professional scam artists in remodifying loans. That's why it's important that you contact a HUD-approved counseling agency in the state."

Goss has this advice for avoiding the rip off.

"Number one, they need to know, how did the person get their name. Number two, they need to do some research on the company or the agency to verify they are a legitimate corporation," said Goss.

Experts say your best bet is to avoid paying anybody to remodify your loan- you may be able to work out a deal with your mortgage company instead.

A number of topics are being discussed at the sold-out conference, which runs from 8 AM until 5 PM Thursday and 8 AM through 2 PM Friday.

The theme of this year's conference is "Riding the Foreclosure Wave to Security."

Powered by Frankly