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A warning about foreclosure scams

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By Capt. Jim Burton

Community Legal Service of Mid-Florida (CLSMF) is issuing a warning to those facing a foreclosure to be aware of offers to modify their mortgages for a fee. Be aware that some of the services offered by some companies are already available for free– by visiting a nonprofit counselor or by talking to your lender. Some companies may charge the homeowner a fee but fail to deliver services.

Mr. Bill Abbuehl, Executive Director of CLSMF, warns that some companies are “scammers” but added there are some legitimate agencies that provide a needed service with a high success rate. Some companies charge an upfront fee, then take the money and run. They will charge hundreds of dollars, more if successful. Usually they will submit an application and if that gets rejected, they walk away with the upfront fee.

Honest and reliable HUD certified mortgage relief agencies first interview homeowners and if both agree to go forward, they provide the services for free. Mr. Abbuehl says not all of these companies are “scammers” but he wants Floridians to know you can get real relief for free.

HUD approved counseling agencies are available to provide you with information and free assistance if you need to avoid foreclosure among them are:

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (352) 629-6257 www.clsmf.org

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida (8000 741-7040 www.cccsfl.org.

If you have a complaint about a loan modification company, contact The Florida Attorney General’s Office at (866) 966 7226 or go to www.myfloridalegal.com.