Department of Real Estate Issues New Consumer Alert — Special Warning to Spanish-Speaking Homeowners and Tips on Avoiding Scams

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has issued a Consumer

Alert to help Spanish-speaking consumers avoid falling victim to

foreclosure rescue scams. The DRE, whose mission is to protect and

safeguard the public interests in real estate matters, issued the alert

in response to the large number of cases that involve scammers who

specifically target non-English speaking homeowners in the Latino

community.

“Based on the cases we prosecute, it is clear that Spanish-speaking

fraudsters are targeting homeowners by taking advantage of the culture

of trust within the Latino community,” stated Wayne Bell, the DRE’s

Chief Counsel and author of the special warning. The typical scam

involves the promise of a loan modification or other mortgage or

foreclosure relief in exchange for an upfront fee, but once the fee is

paid little or nothing is done to help the homeowner.

The warning provides tips on how homeowners can avoid mortgage relief

scams, which include:

Victims of a scam should contact the California Department of Real

Estate by calling the department’s Spanish language call center at

213-576-6878, or its Mortgage Lending Activities unit at 916-227-0770.

For a copy of the alert and more information about DRE and its programs

visit www.dre.ca.gov.