OAKLAND (KCBS) – Underwater homeowners frantic to hold onto their homes have become a tempting target for scam artists offering loan modification help at a hefty price.

Someone struggling to pay a mortgage may not realize what options may exist to prevent foreclosure.

That’s why Alameda County has seen a 500 percent increase in mortgage fraud in the last few years, said District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

The Homeowner Education and Loan Protection Program (HELP), a joint project with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, offers reliable referrals and counseling aimed at circumventing the fraudsters, O’Malley said.

“The resources are abundant, and they are free,” she said.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

The HELP Program offers legal assistance to homeowners who suspect they have been defrauded, and provides referrals to non-profits and other agencies that provide free legal and financial advice.

O’Malley said homeowners should never do business with companies that require an up front fee for loan modification services.

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  1. BOB says:

    jimmy go AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!