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NeighborWorks America Works to Thwart Foreclosure Rescue Scams
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WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 02, 2009-- Today NeighborWorks(R) America announced that it filed two trademark complaints with online search engines in an attempt to protect consumers from falling prey to foreclosure rescue scams. The trademark complaints filed by NeighborWorks sought to remove online ads paid for by so-called mortgage rescue companies that used the NeighborWorks name and logo and offered foreclosure help for a fee. The companies have no affiliation with NeighborWorks.
    The trademark complaints were the latest of NeighborWorks’ efforts to help ensure that homeowners in danger of foreclosure receive the help they need to avoid foreclosure.
    NeighborWorks America urges homeowners who need help to beware of foreclosure rescue scams. With the housing market in an unprecedented decline and the economy in crisis, foreclosure rates are at an all-time high, and as many as 6.5 million homeowners are expected to face foreclosure through 2012. To help homeowners, NeighborWorks developed a series of tips to avoid foreclosure, which can be found at, and also on the NeighborWorks “My Home, My Community” consumer Web site,
    “Homeowners facing foreclosure need to be aware that foreclosure rescue scam artists are out in full force and see this as a prime opportunity to make money,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks(R) America. “If you are facing foreclosure, contact a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agency to receive foreclosure counseling. Nonprofit organizations do not ask for a fee to help you avoid foreclosure. Be wary of any rescue company that attempts to charge you for help.”
    According to the FBI, the decline in the housing market has created an ideal climate for mortgage rescue scams, where perpetrators employ an array of schemes. The so-called mortgage rescue companies use simple messages in ads to hook in homeowners facing foreclosure or other financial difficulties. They may imply they are associated with NeighborWorks, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HOPE NOW, and other reputable organizations to gain the homeowner’s trust, personal information and money.
    NeighborWorks offers the following tips to avoid foreclosure rescue scams:
    --  When you need help with a possible foreclosure on your home, don’t hesitate to contact your local NeighborWorks organization or other HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agency for free foreclosure counseling. To find a local NeighborWorks organization near you, visit
    --  If you feel more comfortable speaking to a counselor over the phone, call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE for free foreclosure prevention counseling by expert counselors at HUD-approved nonprofit counseling agencies. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    --  Suspect any ad, person, or company that approaches you and claims to be able to “stop foreclosure now” for a fee.
    --  Never release your financial information online or over the phone to a company you know nothing about.
    --  Contact your mortgage lender. Contrary to what a foreclosure scammer will tell you, you should contact your lender the minute you have trouble making your monthly payment.
    Additional information on foreclosure rescue scams and other information to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes can be found at the NeighborWorks consumer Web site,
    About NeighborWorks(R) America
    NeighborWorks(R) America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. Since 1991, we have assisted nearly 1.2 million low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks network ? more than 230 community development organizations working in more than 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $15 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.
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