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ConsumerWatch: Help For Victims Of Real Estate Scams

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real estate, housing, home, property

(AP)

OAKLAND (CBS 5) – The Alameda County District Attorney has launched a new program to help the thousands of homeowners who have become victims of countless scams.

The schemes range from fraudulent loan companies, to stealing property titles, and forging signatures for power of attorney. With the current hosing market struggling, many in the Bay Area have been affected by real estate fraud.

The DA is saying the new Homeowner Education and Loan Protection Program, HELP, will streamline efforts between consumers, law enforcement, realtors, and lenders. This lack of teamwork, the DA said, is responsible for making banks unwitting accomplices in these scams.

For this reason, HELP is also aiming to re-educate and train financial institutions to detect when there might a scam at work.

Deputy DA, David Lim, said the model for how to report and prosecute those involved with the scams will be easier. Instead of going to police and waiting for an investigation, Lim said that you would be able to go directly to HELP and get assistance.

The ultimate goal for HELP is to not only educate homeowners and banks, but to hopefully avoid real estate fraud and scheming altogether.

If you would like more information about HELP, you can call 510-383-8600 or send an email to askcepd-da@acgov.org. To file a complaint you can call 510-569-9281

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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