Department’s Real Estate Fraud Unit Encourages At-Risk Homeowners to Attend Foreclosure Prevention Fair

December 5, 2008

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Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Real Estate Fraud Unit (REFU), which is part of the Commercial Crimes Division and investigates real estate crime throughout the city, is encouraging all those facing mortgage issues as a result of taking out unaffordable loans from unscrupulous lenders to attend a county-sponsored counseling fair.

The impending crimes associated with the subprime mortgage debacle currently sweeping the country have placed an extraordinary burden on many homeowners.  Many consumer agencies within Los Angeles County have recognized the need to assist these homeowners, and a Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Fair this coming Saturday, Dec. 6, will offer reliable sources of information on a variety of assistance options that are available.  The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crenshaw Christian Center, 7901 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.

Since October 2007, nearly $800 million of adjustable rate mortgages will reset, resulting in default and foreclosure because lenders shouldn’t have made these loans initially.  Though not all foreclosures involve fraud, LAPD REFU detectives believe even a small percentage of the millions of loans and dollars at stake could cause an onslaught of fraud cases.

Remedies for these types of fraud/crimes are in place, but the time required to look into them may limit the number of cases detectives can handle and allow increased opportunities for criminals to prey on foreclosed homeowners.

Several organizations will be represented at the Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Fair, and HUD-certified counselors will be on-hand to provide assistance with loss mitigation, fraud identification and prevention, credit recovery, budgeting and more. Homeowners are advised to come prepared by bringing any mortgage statements/documents and personal budget information/requirements.  More information is available by calling 888-895-2647.