State cracks down on foreclosure rescue scammers
New York's attorney general is cracking down on scams that target people facing foreclosure and eventually seize their homes.
City residents like Joseph and Jacqueline Clarke have fallen prey to the scam.
They say they owned their Canarsie home for 16 years before Joseph got sick and they missed some mortgage payments.
"We were dealing with a company in Queens who said they can help us with our situation," the couple says.
But rather than helping, the company sold the Clarkes' home to a developer and tried to evict them.
They had been misled to think that they were signing foreclosure rescue paperwork, but in actuality, had signed over the deed to their home.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the scams are common in New York City, especially in minority communities.
"Foreclosure rescue scammers are swooping in and promising relief," Schneiderman says. "What the home rescue scammers actually deliver is heartbreak."
The attorney general is adding $20 million to a homeowner protection program that provides outreach and legal advice to help residents avoid such scams. He also warns residents not to give out personal financial information like bank account or Social Security numbers.