Alarmed by the proliferation of con artists taking advantage of Americans trying to keep their homes out of foreclosure, the Obama administration today announced federal and state agencies would work together to crack down on scams. The effort was announced by Attorney General Holder, Treasury Secretary Geithner and others. It targets those who are offering hope -- usually at a high cost -- to troubled homeowners but providing little actual help. "For millions of Americans, the dream of home ownership has become a nightmare because of the unscrupulous actions of individuals and companies who exploit the misfortune of others," said Holder. He said the message of this joint operation is clear: "If you discriminate against borrowers or prey on vulnerable homeowners with fraudulent mortgage schemes, we will find you and we will punish you."
Geithner said these scams are often used by companies that portray themselves as government agencies and adopt Internet addresses that appear official. Such firms "callously rob Americans of their savings and potentially their homes," he said. "We will shut down fraudulent companies more quickly than before. We will target companies that otherwise would have gone unnoticed under the radar."