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Federal Joint Task Force to Target Mortgage Fraud

The joint task force created by the ""Office of the Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program"":www.sigtarp.gov/ (SIGTARP), the ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":www.consumerfinance.gov/, and the ""U.S. Department of the Treasury"":www.treasury.gov/ is receiving praise from industry groups. The ""Homeownership Preservation Foundation"":www.995hope.org/ recently spoke out on the fraud prevention initiative, announcing that the new task force would utilize the organization's HOPE Hotline to facilitate communication with borrowers.

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The joint force will focus on companies and individuals conducting modification-related mortgage scams, through investigation and deactivation measures. Additionally, the task force hopes to help homeowners who may be the target of such schemes.

For borrowers in the sights of mortgage fraudsters, the government joint force will offer information and education on

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loan scams, and the group will also begin an industry first, a consumer fraud alert posted via HPF's website. The federal task force is also calling on homeowners to use the HOPE Hotline to report any and all activities they experience that are potentially fraudulent, and those that believe they may have been a victim of a mortgage rescue scheme will have access to a ""U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development"":www.hud.gov/-approved housing counselor at no cost.

Commenting on the formation of the joint task force, HPF's CEO Colleen Hernandez said, ""As the people behind the national HOPE Hotline for distressed homeowners facing foreclosure, HPF is on the front lines of the mortgage crisis and knows first-hand how pervasive and financially devastating these mortgage scams are for victimized homeowners.""

Continuing her statements, Hernandez added, ""Our housing counselors are seeing an alarming uptick in the number of callers who believe they have been victimized by some type of fraudulent activity. The launch of a federal task force to share knowledge and resources to fight mortgage-related scams is a productive, aggressive step in the ongoing battle to thwart the work of mortgage scam artists, and HPF enthusiastically endorses it.""

HPF is currently partners with entities including HUD, ""Fannie Mae"":www.fanniemae.com/, ""Freddie Mac"":www.freddiemac.com/, the Treasury, the ""Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law"":www.lawyerscommittee.org/, and ""NeighborWorks America"":www.nw.org/. The independent national nonprofit is dedicated to helping distressed homeowners navigate financial challenges and avoid foreclosure.

About Author: Abby Gregory

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