For Immediate Release
PreventLoanScams.org a New Online Tool in the Fight Against Loan Modification Scammers
WASHINGTON - As part
of a vigorous national campaign to strengthen the fight against loan
modification scammers, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
(Lawyers' Committee) today launched www.PreventLoanScams.org.
"This dynamic Web site is designed to assist federal, state and local
governmental agencies and others in the enforcement of laws designed to stop
illegal scammers by providing homeowners with a simple way to report alleged
scams and creating a national clearinghouse and database for complaints that
will be accessible to law enforcement and the public," said Barbara R.
Arnwine, executive director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under
Law. "The Lawyers' Committee is committed to stepping up and
coordinating efforts to put these scammers out of business for good."
This Web site is part of the
Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (LMPSN or Network), a broad coalition
consisting primarily of government agencies and nonprofit organizations which
was created to strengthen the fight against unscrupulous scammers preying on
homeowners facing foreclosure. The Network is led by Fannie Mae, Freddie
Mac, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and NeighborWorks
America. Other participants include representatives from key governmental
agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Treasury
Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state attorneys general
offices, as well as leading nonprofit organizations from across the country.
At the heart of the current economic crisis is a wave of
foreclosures across the nation, nearly 4 million in 2009, which has
disproportionately affected countless minorities. Millions of distressed
homeowners have become vulnerable targets to fraudulent and sometimes criminal
third-party scammers, con artists and thieves. The primary mission of the
Network is to support existing enforcement efforts at the national, state and
local levels by both governmental agencies and non-public organizations, and to
educate and warn the public about this scourge.
Critical to the fight against scammers is vigorous
enforcement of laws designed to stop scammers. The www.PreventLoanScams.org Web site
and the national Loan Modification Scam Database will be important tools in
assisting the enforcement effort by increasing the amount of complaint
information to which law enforcement and others will have access. The Web
site provides a simple online complaint form. The Network will
automatically forward all complaint information to the Federal Trade
Commission's Consumer Sentinel Database, as well as share the information
with state and local law enforcement, provided express permission from the
homeowner. Scams can also be reported by calling the 888-995-HOPE
In addition, homeowners, housing counselors and advocates
will be able to access important scam reporting resources on the Web
site. It also provides homeowners with information on free foreclosure
counseling services, state-by-state information about resources available to
them, tips on how to avoid a scam and fast facts about regulatory and
enforcement efforts. In the future, the Web site will provide a public
portal into the Network's Database that will allow users access to
non-personal information about scam complaints that may be searched and sorted
by jurisdiction, scam type and other criteria. The Network encourages visitors
to check www.PreventLoanScams.org
frequently for updates.
The educational efforts of the Network are led by
NeighborWorks America, which launched a national
media and outreach campaign in October. This information can be found
on www.loanscamalert.org, which also
includes a link to the Lawyers' Committee's complaint form.
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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice. For more information about the LCCRUL, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.