They prey on the elderly, often stealing homes with a simple signature.  And now Philadelphia is launching an all-out assault on housing scam artists.

Plans to go after them were announced today at City Hall, and KYW’s Mike Dunn was there.
housing scammed Officials Warn of Scams That Steal Homes from Elderly
Edward Harper of South Philadelphia fell just two months behind on mortgage payments when he heard about a buyback mortgage that would give him essentially a year off on payments:

“After the year was up, I continued to get scary notices.  This time the notice was that my home was being foreclosed and someone else owned my home.”

But it was a scam, and Harper now has Community Legal Services (“CLS”) fighting to get his home back.

Harper (in photo) spoke at a news conference today with the mayor and other top officials to launch a new effort to warn people about these very difficult housing scams.

A national group called Neighborworks America, along with the Urban Affairs Coalition, is launching a multi-pronged effort.  This includes workshops to teach potential victims what to look for, increased funding for CLS, and advertisements in community newspapers about how to spot potential scams.

Anyone with questions about their mortgage woes is urged to call the “Save Your Home Philly” hotline: 215-334-HOME.

(Photo by KYW’s Mike Dunn)

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