The Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and District Attorney are teaming up to prevent real estate fraud spurred by the volume of foreclosures in the region.
Beginning in September, Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk–Recorder Larry Ward and District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will issue property owners an advisory letter on foreclosures and loan modifications whenever a notice of default is recorded.
“We are committed to protecting residents from scam artists who offer bogus loan modifications, taking advantage of people already in financial trouble,” Ward said.
Zellerbach hopes the new notice will quickly alert homeowners to possible fraud and help prosecutors investigate questionable activity, limiting the number of innocent victims.
“The notices also should help deter real estate fraud and reduce losses from these crimes,” he said.
A notice of default is the first stage of the foreclosure process. Unscrupulous individuals use this information to target victims, offering loan modification services at extremely high costs without performing any services. Some will ask the homeowner to transfer the property to them or to a third party, offering to rent it back to the homeowner until they can make up the payments.
The new letter will explain that a notice of default was recorded and will include a copy of the first three pages of the recorded document. It will warn residents to be cautious of people who offer to assist in real estate matters especially those who seek payment in advance of performing services. Contact information for the Riverside County District Attorney’s real estate fraud unit also will be included, in case property owners suspect fraud.For more information, visit www.RiversideACR.com or www.RivCoDa.org.
—County of Riverside