Foreclosure rescue scams on the rise

States make headway, provide victims relief

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Are the usual suspects returning to mortgage-related scams as a result of the subprime lending fallout? Does the practice of illegal "foreclosure rescue" operations extend even into the second-home market? It always seems that when a large group of consumers are in trouble with their home finances, bad guys are around to help the unsuspecting homeowner dig their hole a little deeper. The latest attempt at the age-old practice of equity skimming is foreclosure rescue where scammers peruse county records to find properties that are facing foreclosure for nonpayment of mortgages or taxes. "Foreclosure rescue scams have overtaken illegal property flipping as the most common scam; however, illegal property flipping is still a problem," said Rebecca Jacobsen, Washington state assistant attorney general. Two months ago, the attorney general's office settled a foreclosure rescue case against three Washington-based businesses and their owners accused of taking unfair advantage of hom...