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Cautionary tale: when promises to homeowners are illusory

In the so-called Great Recession of recent years that has afflicted -- and continues to adversely affect -- homeowners in Florida and throughout the country, predators have emerged en masse to take advantage of cash-strapped and often desperate homeowners.

Many Floridians flatly know that, either anecdotally or through personal experience, given the hard hits taken over the past handful of years by scores of thousands of people stretched thin by job losses and other economic dislocations. We noted the singularly high foreclosure rates that exist in Southern Florida in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our Jan. 9, 2014, entry).

Hard times obviously impel people to take desperate measures, and consumers who are underwater with debt are often a vulnerable population when it comes to scams.

Loan modification is a case in point, being a process that many people turn to when foreclosure looms or is already in play.

Modifying a loan, while often doable, is a complex business, with the bottom-line goal -- a workable solution that is in a debtor’s best interest -- being best achieved through close interaction with and representation from a proven and client-empathetic loan modification attorney.

Dire outcomes ensue when con artists enter the picture, as was recently noted in local papers chronicling the story of a company called FHA All Day. That entity advertised itself to distressed homeowners in Florida as a fully staffed and effective team of professionals achieving positive results for struggling borrowers.

That was in fact far from true, with federal investigators recently noting that the company stole more than $7 million from thousands of deceived homeowners seeking adjustments.

The principals in that outsized fraud were recently indicted on a number of criminal charges.

The story is both sad and cautionary. It certainly underscores the strong need for any homeowner seeking to modify a loan to enlist assistance from an attorney who is well trained in the area and has a proven track record in effecting positive client outcomes.

Source: The Palm Beach Post, "Charges brought against ten in Boca-based loan modification scam," Kim Miller, Dec. 26, 2013

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