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Ohio Attorney General Fights Foreclosure Scams.
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Every month in Franklin County, hundreds of homeowners receive a summons of foreclosure. These and other homewoners struggling to make their house payments might also receive the promise of help…..for a fee. WOSU’s Christina Morgan reports on the rising tide of foreclosure rescue scams in Ohio.
Ohio Attorney General, Richard Cordray puts it this way: predators watch what’s going on in society and then figure out a way to take advantage of people who are desperate. Two years ago there were no foreclosure rescue scams going on. Now, there’s a ‘smorgasbord.’
“Be very, very careful when you are contacted by any of these people. They are looking to take advantage of people in desperate situations. And, its disgusting and that’s why we have brought dozens of cease and desist actions and lawsuits to shut these people down.” Says Cordray.
The number of foreclosures in central Ohio this year is five times what it was just two years ago. Housing counselor Mark Easterling says the problem last year was adjustable rate mortgages’s and balloon mortgages. This year its all recession-related job losses, loss of overtime and workers getting fewer hours. Regardless of the reason, he says help is available free of charge.
“The foreclosure crisis in Central Ohio has effected every zip code and I can tell you that because I’ve worked with people from every zip code.” Says Easterling.
Easterling works with Homes On The Hill, one of five federally aproved agencies in Central Ohio to offer housing counseling. A mediation program and homeowner helpline were added last fall as monthly foreclosures topped 800.