In it’s Final Order published on December 30, 2009 the Florida Supreme Court Residential Mortgage Task Force Final Order estimated that there are currently 500,000 foreclosure cases pending in Florida. (The full text is can found here.) Many of these homeowners, and the millions of other homeowners who may be behind on their mortgage but not yet in foreclosure, are contacted by “loan modification specialists”, “loss mitigators”, “mortgage negotiators” and other individuals who claim they can assist the homeowner in obtaining a modifcation of their mortgage or help stop the foreclosure.
If It Sounds Too Good to Be True–It’s a Scam!
In response to the fact that homeowners fall victim to promises made by the individuals mentioned above–promises that most often cannot be fulfilled–the Florida Legislature passed sweeping changes to laws that aims to prevent individuals and companies from targeting homeowners in foreclosure or who are vulnerable to modification scams. A review of the new law that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times can be found here.
A Good First Step, But Not Nearly Enough
While the new law is an excellent first step for consumers and vulnerable Floridians, the con artists and fraudsters will still prey upon consumers and the Attorney General’s Office probably lacks the resources to go after all but the most visible violators of the new laws. Another important issue to consider is that the broad nature of the law potentially makes the conduct of title agents and even Realtors subject to the law’s restrictions. The bottom line is consumers need to rely on experienced and properly-licensed Florida attorneys to assist with any issues related to mortgages and foreclosure.
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