Thanks to a few commenters in today’s open thread for pointing out this article in today’s P-I about foreclosure scams. Most of the article is dedicated to telling the tales of local homeowners that were scammed out of their homes, but there are a few quotes that are of specific interest to the bubble subject.
As rising interest rates and growing consumer debt push more families into financial trouble, consumer advocates and state investigators warn that people on the brink of foreclosure are increasingly falling victim to scams aimed at squeezing them out of their homes.
Foreclosure-rescue scams are on the rise as “a collision of events” force more people into foreclosure, said Chuck Cross, division director of the state Department of Financial Institutions, which investigates such fraud. Homeowners who took out mortgages they could barely afford or borrowed too much against their equity are prime targets.
If foreclosure scams are truly already an issue in our area despite the supposedly still robust housing market, imagine what it will look like when things really slow down. Yikes.
(Phuong Cat Le, Seattle P-I, 09.21.2006)