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The "rescuer" essentially abandons the homeowner to a fate that might have been prevented with better intervention. Protect Yourself from Foreclosure Fraud. Homeowners should be especially vigilant of people who seek money by cash, check or credit card in advance of performing services, such as loan modifications.

California Foreclosure Timeline

Only the actual lender may agree to a loan modification after the homeowner directly applies to that lender for the modification. Promises or guarantees of loan modifications should be viewed as highly suspicious, as the decision of whether or not to modify a loan remains exclusively with the lender. Distressed homeowners should talk to their lender directly about alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modification and new government sponsored refinancing programs.


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Free resources are available to help avoid foreclosure, including the following:. When we receive a consumer complaint, we review all the information and the supporting documentation that is included. Note that we are ethically able to file charges only where we can prove all elements of a criminal offense, usually including specific intent to commit theft, beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve unanimous jurors in a court of law.

This is appropriately an incredibly high burden for the prosecution and many cases do not meet this burden, which prevents us from proceeding. If the complaint does not meet our criteria to open a case, we will do our best to refer you to an agency that will appropriately handle the type of matter involved. Many real estate consumer disputes are not appropriate for government action, but are altogether proper for private legal action.

It is generally a good idea to consult with private counsel to explore private legal remedies that might be available. This office is not legally permitted to represent individuals in civil matters, help cancel any debt due on a contract that was signed, resolve or mediate individual contractual complaints, or obtain any other personal relief.

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Write or type a summary of your complaint and attach the summary to the complaint form. We cannot review your complaint without a complete concise statement of the facts. At a minimum, please include the following information in your statement:.

Please retain the originals for your records. Employment Contact Us. Real Estate Fraud Unit.

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Below are samples of the types of cases we investigate and prosecute: Fraudulent real estate investment schemes, typically involving the sale of trust deeds Use of forged escrow instructions to steal escrow deposits Purchasing homes with straw buyers Forgery of grant deeds or other recorded documents Real Estate Identity Theft. The typical target of such a scheme is a property with a large amount of equity, most likely an elderly owner Fraudulent schemes involving trusts where owners are told to deed their property to a trust which will make the mortgage payments until the owner recovers financially.

However, the reality is that the scammers steal the equity and get loans with even larger payments so the original homeowner never stands a chance to get his or her property back Foreclosure Fraud — Discussed more fully below Foreclosure Fraud With foreclosures on the rise, criminals are taking advantage of struggling homeowners by committing fraud. Protect Yourself from Foreclosure Fraud DO NOT sign a quitclaim deed or any other document that transfers the property to another person or trust without first consulting an independent attorney. Never sign a contract or other documents under pressure.

Seek help, from an attorney, social services agency, legal aid or someone you trust to review any foreclosure-related paperwork. Be especially wary of offers to take over ownership of your home as part of a deal that allows you to rent your home and then buy it back after a few years. Never make verbal agreements. Never sign blank pages where information can be added later. Never sign anything you do not understand. Avoid doing business with individuals or companies that call themselves mortgage consultants, foreclosure services or similar without thoroughly checking their credentials.

Be sure to ask for references from licensing agencies, or check with the Better Business Bureau and trade groups. Recommendations from family, friends, coworkers and others you trust are also a good resource. A legitimate mortgage consultant can help find the best loan and help with an unfavorable loan. Be aware of promises like "We'll save your credit," "We'll pay the closing costs," "We'll buy your house 'as-is'," or "If you sign the house over to us the foreclosure will be recorded against us," among a host of other come-ons. Be extremely cautious of those who contact or advertise to people whose homes are listed for foreclosure, including anyone who sends flyers or solicits door-to-door.

At a minimum, please include the following information in your statement: Tell us what happened in chronological detail and be specific.

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If there was no deficiency, you may repurchase your home for up to 3 months after the sale. If there was a deficiency, you can purchase your home for up to 1 year after the sale. In reality, those are just the legal minimum times and most foreclosures take much longer. This bill stops banks from continuing the foreclosure process while a loan modification application is pending. There are really only two ways to stop a foreclosure: make a big enough payment to bring the loan current or file bankruptcy. If you can get the cash together to make up for back payments, interest, and other expenses and fees, you can pull your home out of the foreclosure process.

You can also stop the foreclosure by filing bankruptcy. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you choose to file, you may be able to catch up your mortgage through your bankruptcy plan payments. Remember that you can step in at any point along the California foreclosure timeline to stop the process, right up until the auction itself.

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Foreclosure Process - Cyndi Hurst

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