The California Department of Real Estate has issued a consumer alert to help Spanish-speaking consumers avoid home foreclosure rescue scams.
The department said it issued the alert in response to numerous cases that involve scammers targeting non-English-speaking, Latino homeowners.
"Based on the cases we prosecute, it is clear that Spanish-speaking fraudsters are targeting homeowners by taking advantage of the culture of trust within the Latino community," said Wayne Bell, the real estate department's chief counsel.
The typical scam involves the promise of a loan modification or other mortgage or foreclosure relief in exchange for an upfront fee. Once the fee is paid, however, little or nothing is done to help the homeowner, the department said.
People who suspect a scam should contact the department's Spanish language call center at (213) 576-6878, or its mortgage lending activities unit, (916) 227-0770. More information can be found at www.dre.ca.gov.
(c)2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
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