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Can YouTube Keep Troubled Buyers from Losing Homes to Fraud?

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RISMEDIA, Dec. 13, 2007-Freddie Mac produced an Internet video dramatizing a common foreclosure fraud scheme after a new survey found one in four delinquent borrowers go to the Internet before their bank or lender for information about avoiding foreclosure.

The two-minute YouTube video uses professional actors to demonstrate how con artists can:

Get copies of foreclosure notices at City Hall or a county courthouse;
Persuade distressed borrowers to give up the deeds in exchange for
suspicious promises to solve their financial problems;
Use the deeds to secure new loans for themselves; and,
Let the new loans go into foreclosure, which means the homeowners looking for help can still end up losing their house.

“With fraud reports on the rise, we are using every communication channel out there to warn borrowers about these fraudsters and urge borrowers to call their lenders when they fall behind on their mortgage,” said Ingrid Beckles, vice president, Servicing and Asset Management, Freddie Mac. “By working with our servicers, Freddie Mac is now helping an average of 1,000 delinquent borrowers a week avoid foreclosure through forbearances, repayment plans or other workout options.”

According to the corporation, Freddie Mac decided to produce the anti-fraud video for YouTube after a 2007 company-sponsored study that discovered that 25% of delinquent borrowers go to the Internet first for mortgage information, only slightly less than those who call their mortgage lender (28%) or bank (32%). Roper Public Affairs and Media, a division of GFK NOP conducted the survey of 2,400 borrowers.

Freddie Mac’s anti-fraud video can be found by visiting http://www.youtube.com/AvoidFraud.

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