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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Avoiding foreclosure abatement fraud

Hawaii foreclosure filings have decreased in February 2012, but we’re still in a bit of a “foreclosure crisis” as people struggle to survive in the flailing (but gradually improving) economy. Last week, we talked about bills in the legislature that are addressing this crisis and crimes that are related to foreclosure.

Mortgage fraud is on the decline because financial institutions have tightened their lending requirements. However, foreclosure abatement fraud—which targets individual homeowners—is on the rise nationally, and there have been several instances of it in Hawaii, according to Tom Simon of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“Distressed homeowners get desperate, and these foreclosure abatement companies offer ‘solutions’ to save your home that sound too good to be true,” Simon explains. “They require you to pay an advance fee so they can refinance your mortgage (which legitimate companies don’t do), but they actually take your money, and do nothing. In the end, you lose your money and your house.”

The best thing to do if you’re in trouble with your mortgage, he says, is contact your lender or have someone you trust contact your lender on your behalf.

If you do get approached by, or fall victim to, such a company, you can report it by calling the Honolulu FBI office at 808-566-4300 or through www.IC3.gov if approached via internet solicitation.

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in Permalink

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Honolulu Real Estate focuses on the Hawaii housing market, condos and homes for sale, Hawaii rentals and general news about real estate in Hawaii. It also includes stories on apartment living, home decor and profiles.
 


Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her online @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram.


 


Jaymes Song is a real estate agent at Prudential Advantage Realty in Kahala. Jaymes is in the top 7 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. Previously, Jaymes was at The Orange County Register, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and rose through the ranks to overseeing news and operations for AP in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Jaymes lives in the Portlock area and loves his real full-time job of being dad to two curious kids.


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