| HUD Contact: Joseph J. Phillips
VA Contact: Josh Taylor
March 8, 2012
HUD LAUNCHES "KNOW IT. AVOID IT. REPORT IT." MORTGAGE SCAM PREVENTION CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN IN ATLANTA
ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the second phase of the Know It. Avoid It. Report It. consumer awareness campaign in Atlanta. The campaign, launched during National Consumer Protection Week, March 4 - 10, is designed to educate consumers on loan modification and foreclosure scams and encourage them to take action.
In 2011, HUD introduced the Know It. Avoid It. Report It. campaign in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles as a way to inform struggling homeowners about the importance of working with HUD-approved agencies as they fight to save their homes. HUD is launching the campaign in Atlanta, an attractive area for scams, since it is one of the cities struggling with high foreclosure rates.
"One should never have to pay for foreclosure counseling or assistance," said Ed Jennings, Jr., Region IV, Regional Administrator for HUD in Atlanta. "That's why we need homeowners to be vigilant by seeking out HUD-approved housing counseling agencies to obtain help and avoid being scammed."
Atlanta has the 4th highest risk zip code in the U.S. for mortgage fraud and has 332% higher rate of mortgage fraud than the national average (CoreLogic Study, 2010).
As a result of the foreclosure crisis, millions of distressed homeowners have become vulnerable targets to criminal third-party scammers, con artists, and thieves. Out of desperation to save their homes, borrowers are giving thousands of dollars to mortgage relief scam artists who are preying on struggling homeowners.
Mortgage relief scam artists employ these scams with terrible consequences for homeowners. Their tactics come in various forms including giving the false impression that they are affiliated with government programs, charging illegal up-front fees, and executing fraudulent lease-back financing schemes.
HUD encourages homeowners to call (888) 995-HOPE (4673) or visit www.hud.gov/preventloanscams to get the facts about mortgage fraud, and report suspected scammers.
To obtain help and avoid being the victim of mortgage scams go to HUD approved housing counseling agencies in Georgia on HUD's website.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.