In our modern lifestyle, software apps have become our right hand. We use them to keep ourselves healthy, to control what we eat, to remember important dates and even to manage our personal finance. If there’s an App for everything, why not have one to help us stay alert to possible foreclosure frauds?
Foreclosure fraud is a significant and growing problem in New York. This state’s homeowners trail only California and Florida in the number of complaints reported to the Loan Modification Scam Database. Further, New York homeowners report larger losses to scammers than in the rest of the country, as indicated by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods in its 2014 Foreclosure Rescue Scam Crisis in New York report.
This is why the NY Office of the Attorney General launched AGScamHelp, an innovative app that allows homebuyers to receive real time information on how to recognize and report foreclosure scams, which companies are reliable government-vetted institutions and where to locate the nearest grantees that are part of the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), a network of more than 85 housing counseling and legal services agencies that provide free assistance to New Yorkers.
Through the app, consumers are allowed to search the name of an individual or institution to determine if that entity is “trusted” or not. Community Housing Innovations (CHI), a HUD-approved counseling agency, can be found in this new AGScamHelp app, as well as other government-vetted companies.
In addition, AGScamHelp offers details on how to recognize signs of a foreclosure rescue scam, including samples of scam letters and other resources utilized by fraudsters to target homeowners. It also provides information about recent foreclosure scams that have been the subject of enforcement actions brought by the Office of the Attorney General and other law enforcement agencies.
Scams may also be reported through the app. All submitted complaints will be directed to the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, and will be mediated by the Attorney General’s office.
We can help! If you need any assistance with foreclosure issues, call one of CHI’s housing counselors at (914) 683-1010. It’s free!