Scammers already using national bank mortgage settlement to rip people off

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Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks at a hearing in January for California's involvement in the nationwide settlement.

Just weeks after a nationwide mortgage settlement was reached with five major banks, scam artists are using that pretense to target unsuspecting homeowners.

The settlement announced last month puts $25 billion on the table, with California taking the biggest piece of the pie.

Banks will use the money to adjust the mortgages of homeowners who believe they were treated improperly. Of particular interest are those who were victimized by a practice called “robo-signing,” where bank employees pushed through foreclosures without following proper procedures.

To get that relief, you have to apply, and according to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, that’s where the crooks are taking advantage.

Harris says that scam artists are calling distressed homeowners and offering to take them through the process — for an upfront fee.

California law forbids any front-loaded loan modification assistance. What’s more, only the banks themselves are authorized to provide this mortgage relief.

Homeowners who are contacted are urged to call their banks directly.

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