Borough President Adams and Attorney General Schneiderman held a Brooklyn homeowners forum last Tuesday, October 13, to educate communities on deed theft and mortgage scams.
The informational session at Brooklyn Borough Hall attempted to educate local homeowners on ways to avoid and best handle predatory harassment.
Brooklyn neighborhoods that have been especially effected by scams include Brownsville, Canarsie, and East New York, according to the forum. These areas also have very high foreclosure rates.
Additionally, these neighborhoods are all primarily African-American and Hispanic, demographics which have lost more on average than victims of other races, according to 2010 US Census data cited by Adams.
At the forum, Adams and Schneiderman outlined warning signs homeowners should be wary of. These included
guarantees and promises of results, upfront fees for foreclosure prevention services, requests to send mortgage payments to anyone other than one’s mortgage lender or servicer, confusing language or paperwork, requests to transfer ownership of one’s property to a mortgage assistance company, and aggressive sales pitches. It was also explained that scammers may use a variety of methods to entrap homeowners, such as using legally intimidating language, threatening sham lawsuits, offering forensic audits, or mimicking the appearance of an official notice.
Homeowners can get more information about scams at AGScamHelp.com or by calling 1-855-HOME-456.
AGScamHelp.com includes a search to check if an organization is government-vetted.
[Photo: Eric Adams]
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