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California targets foreclosure scams

State requiring $100,000 bond by July 1

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Saying California is "awash with con artists" who prey on families facing foreclosure, the state's attorney general is giving foreclosure consultants until July 1 to register with his office and post a $100,000 bond.California Attorney General Jerry Brown said scam artists are posing as legitimate foreclosure consultants, promising homeowners they will prevent foreclosure but charging "huge up-front costs" without providing "an ounce of help."State lawmakers passed a bill last year, AB 180, creating the registration requirement.In California, only attorneys and licensed real estate brokers are permitted to collect fees in advance for negotiating loan modifications and short sales with lenders.Real estate brokers who want to collect fees in advance for such services must enter into written agreements with clients, and the state Department of Real Estate must sign off on the language to be used in the agreements.According to the Department of Real Estate's W...