This is a reprint from our California Association of Realtors Newsline. The public needs to see this one. Jim

DRE issues fraud warning
The DRE recently issued a fraud warning alerting consumers about loan modification scams and informing consumers of what they can do to protect themselves. The alert is available in both English and Spanish.  Last July, the DRE had fewer than 10 complaints involving loan modification companies; today the department has 750 pending investigations. In addition, since last October, the DRE has filed more than 200 Desist and Refrain Orders. A list of the companies and persons the DRE has filed an action against can be viewed at

It is worth noting that not all firms who collect advance fees for loan modification services do so illegally, the DRE said.  In general, only licensed real estate brokers and attorneys operating within the scope of their license may collect advance fees. Real estate brokers must have their advance fee agreement reviewed by the DRE prior to its use to ensure it is compliant with real estate law.

C.A.R. also has learned of what appears to be a loan modification assistance program and lead generator, from a company using the legislative bill number 3648, that looks as if it’s a government entity, complete with a misleading seal closely resembling a governmental seal but that is not affiliated with the government. C.A.R. cautions all members to be on the alert for schemes seeking funds from REALTORS® or consumers with no value, or that may be misleading or unlawful.