Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo this week launched a new website, FightingMortgageFraud.org, aimed at combating bogus foreclosure avoidance companies.
“This economic crisis has led to a spike in fraud that preys on homeowners’ rapidly dwindling dollars as they desperately search for a way to keep their homes,” Delgadillo said. “I believe it is our duty to rush to the aid of our most vulnerable residents in times like these.”
Residents of Los Angeles can use the new website to communicate directly with prosecutors if they feel they’ve been the victim of some type of mortgage fraud.
Once forms are completed (they can be filled out in English or Spanish), city prosecutors will determine if the complaint warrants law enforcement action.
The website is a response to the increased level of mortgage fraud harming city residents as a result of the ongoing mortgage crisis.
In mid-April, Delgadillo announced two criminal complaints against predatory real estate companies and loan brokers who set out to deceive both first-time buyers and those looking to refinance.
One case involved bait-and-switch where loan applications were altered and signatures were forged, the other involved Spanish-language radio ads touting a non-existent government mortgage payment support program.
“Everything our investigators have seen, and everything we are reading about in the newspapers, tells us that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” Delgadillo said. “I want to encourage anyone who thinks they are a victim of mortgage fraud to take action and reach out to our office.”
This actually seems like a good thing, as victims who are typically powerless might be able to remove some of the bad players from the mortgage industry.