Beware, delinquent homeowners of New York: There are predators out there lurking, waiting to dupe you.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has launched a new advertising campaign to help protect struggling homeowners from the wide range of foreclosure rescue scams circulating throughout the state.
In addition, Schneiderman's office has launched AGScamHelp.com, a Web-based application that helps educate consumers on how to avoid and report these scams.
‘The most powerful tools to stop mortgage rescue scams are educated, vigilant homeowners,’ Schneiderman says in a statement. ‘These scams are particularly pernicious because they take victims of the housing crash and make them victims again. My office will do all we can to ensure homeowners have the tools they need to protect themselves, and we will continue to vigorously pursue scammers who target vulnerable homeowners.’
The advertising campaign is being funded through the $25 billion national mortgage settlement and is being sponsored by the Homeowner Protection Program, according to a press release from Schneiderman's office. The advertisements will appear on Nassau County buses, in community papers throughout the outer boroughs of New York City and on social media.
The ads, which will be geographically targeted to those ZIP codes that have seen the most instances of these scams, will direct homeowners to AGScamHelp.com and the Homeowner Protection Program hotline at (855) 466-3456.
Nationwide, mortgage rescue scammers have conned $100 million from more than 42,000 homeowners, according to a December 2014 report by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
New York has been hit particularly hard by the foreclosure rescue scam epidemic. New York homeowners have submitted over 2,700 foreclosure rescue scam complaints to the Lawyer Committee for Civil Rights, documenting at least $8.25 million in losses, according to the release.
On average, each New York victim of a foreclosure rescue scam reported a loss of $4,183 – about $900 more than the national average.