What You Can Do If You Have Been Scammed In Real Estate

WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED (OR BECOME AWARE OF A LOAN MODIFICATION SCAM)? REPORT FRAUD AND FILE COMPLAINTS WITH —

1. The DRE if a real estate licensee is involved, or if the person or company is unlicensed. If the person or company is unlicensed, the DRE will file a Desist and Refrain Order. If the person or company is licensed, the DRE will commence disciplinary action, http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_complaint.html.

2. The District Attorney, Sheriff, local police and local prosecutor in your community.

3. The California Attorney General, at www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php.

4. The California State Bar if a lawyer is involved, or if an unlicensed person claims to be a lawyer at www.calbar.ca.gov.

5. The California Department of Corporations, at www.corp.ca.gov, if a loan modification claims to be operating under a California Finance Lender License.

6. The Federal Trade Commission, at www.ftc.gov. They have an excellent fact sheet on Foreclosure Rescue Scams.

7. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), at www.fbi.gov.

8. HUD, at www.hud.gov.

9. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), at www.fdic.gov.

10. The Better Business Bureau in your community.

11. The Chamber of Commerce in your community.

12. File a Small Claims Court action. These are informal courts where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively by a judge. Since 2008, you can recover up to $7,500 in Small Claims Court. You represent yourself, and can request a judgment for money damages.If your judgment is based on fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, or conversion of trust funds, and the judgment is against a real estate licensee, DRE has a Recovery Fund that may be able to pay your claim. Go to the DRE web site at http://www.dre.ca.gov, and look under the tab for “Consumers”. Also, the California Secretary of State has a “Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund” that provides restitution to victims of corporate fraud. Go to the Secretary of State’s web site at www.sos.ca.gov/vcfcf for more information.

(info above issued 3/2009 via http://www.dre.ca.gov)

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