State Launches Ad to Assist Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
The state DCCA (Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs) is launching a television ad on April 13 to aid Hawai‘i homeowners who may be facing foreclosure.
The 30-second public service announcement (PSA) encourages homeowners to contact a free government certified housing counselor, and aims to raise awareness about foreclosure rescue scams, and the benefits of meeting with a counselor. For a list of free certified housing counselors, call (808) 587-3222.
The department’s Office of Consumer Protection advises homeowners to be wary of offers to save homes from foreclosure. With the exception of attorneys, it’s generally illegal to charge an upfront fee to save a home from foreclosure, according to Stephen Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection.
Homeowners who default on their mortgage payment, or face foreclosure may be targeted by rescue scams. Signs of a scam may include:
- Requiring a fee in advance
- Promising to find mistakes in mortgage loan documents that will force the lender to nullify or change a loan
- Guaranteeing to stop a foreclosure
- Advising a homeowner to stop paying their mortgage company or stop talking to them
The state-issued PSA is funded by a $7.9 million settlement received by the State in April 2012 from a national mortgage settlement. No taxpayer money is being used to air the ad.