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Scam Alert: Foreclosure help is con in disguise

THE SCAM: Foreclosure help

HOW IT WORKS: As mortgage loans reset and refinancing options dwindle, more home- owners fear they're on the verge of foreclosure. But not all deals to rescue troubled home- owners are legitimate. Housing experts warn they're seeing a proliferation of scams aimed at people facing foreclosure. These result in lost homes or payment of useless fees. Usually, the con artists contact homeowners, claiming their victims' houses are being foreclosed on. The victims are encouraged to sign paperwork and pay fees to the con artists, who promise to help stop the foreclosure process. But all these scammers really want is the chance to fleece you.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your money, your equity, your home.

HOW TO BEAT IT: Be suspicious if you receive unsolicited mail, e-mails or phone calls that promise help with your mortgage. While some are reputable, others aren't. To be sure, check with a trusted source, such as your lender or an attorney. When in doubt, don't sign any paperwork or pay for services.

Contact Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer at or 578-2331.

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