The New England District of NeighborWorks America recently joined with MassHousing and the Rhode Island Loan Modification Scam Campaign to sponsor a live foreclosure and Loan Modification Scam Alert news program and hotline with WUNI Univision Television and WUTF Telefutura in Needham, Massachusetts. Univision News Anchor Sara Suarez posed some challenging questions to NeighborWorks America’s Fiona O’Connor, manager, Internal and Network Communications, about the proliferation of loan scam companies targeting Hispanic homeowners facing mortgage default or foreclosure.
The program aired live in three regional Univision television markets airing in four states – Southern New Hampshire; Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; and Providence, Rhode Island. Eight foreclosure counselors from four NeighborWorks organizations: NOAH, Lawrence Community Works, Oak Hill CDC and its affiliate NeighborWorks Homeownership Center of Worcester (MA) and NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley answered nearly 70 calls in two hours from the six open lines at Univision Television. Hispanic families reported paying between $700 and $10,000 to loan scam companies for mortgage modifications which for some families led to foreclosure and eviction.
NeighborWorks America and partners launched the Loan Modification Scam Alert Campaign one year ago to empower homeowners to protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted help and report illegal activity to authorities. So far, over 59 million people have been exposed to the signs of a loan modification scam and over 6,000 courageous people have reported scams to authorities.As the holiday season nears, the campaign has made a holiday e-card available to help homeowners protect one of their most precious treasures - their home. The card is available in English (http://www.loanscamalert.org/holiday-ecard.aspx) and Spanish (http://www.alertafraudedehipoteca.org/holiday-ecard.aspx).