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High Desert homes in demand; prices inch up

     Demand is up for homes in the High Desert, but the supply isn’t keeping up, according to November real...

Article Date : 12/18/2009
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Assessor warns of foreclosure scams (Posted Date :Wednesday, December 19, 2007)
With foreclosures on the rise, con artists are coming up with scams to take advantage of local residents who are already down and out.

The latest scam involves suspicious groups that are suggesting to area homeowners who are facing foreclosure sales that filing documents will result in avoiding losing their homes.

San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus is warning local homeowners to prevent being duped by inaccurate and misleading sales pitches aimed at property owners facing a foreclosure sale.

“It is unconscionable that there are unscrupulous business enterprises that would prey on unsuspecting and vulnerable homeowners who are facing the difficult and trying process of foreclosure,” Postmus said.

Postmus cautioned local homeowners to be alert for such scams, which first were reported in several Northern California counties.

Owners of properties facing foreclosure sales are encouraged to file deeds with the county recorder’s office conveying a percentage interest to a third party.

The deed indicates transfer tax of up to $1,000 in new money to the transaction.

Homeowners are reportedly being told that they can avoid foreclosure by conveying a partial interest in the property, according to a Assessor’s press release. Owners are required to record the documents and then deposit money into a third party checking account.

Postmus said that this process will not halt a foreclosure sale.

“Awareness of scams is key,” Postmus added. “Refuse to be a victim. There are documented reports that scams such as those described in this media release are occurring in San Bernardino County.”

Postmus noted San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos has opened investigations into this and other “foreclosure prevention” scams targeting unsuspecting area property owners.

To see documents of suspected parties engaging in duplicitous business practices, please visit www.sbcounty.gov/assessor/taxpayerscams/.
Ryan Orr, Staff Writer

By : Daily Press
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