Foreclosure Prevention Team Makes a Difference During National Homeownership Month

Updated June 6, 2017

One-story home facing foreclosureThe “American Dream” of owning a home requires hard work, saving money, and sacrifice. Mrs. Jones* made that dream a reality; then an act of attempted real estate fraud nearly turned the dream into a nightmare.

The quick, dependable work of the Foreclosure Prevention unit at the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) helped save Mrs. Jones’ home, a service they’ve provided for hundreds of homeowners across Los Angeles County.

“It’s rewarding knowing that you’re helping them stay in their home and avoid becoming homeless,” said Clemente Mejia, supervisor for DCBA’s Foreclosure Prevention unit.

June is National Homeownership Month. Avoiding fraud is an important task for all homeowners. Mrs. Jones found this out the hard way.

She worked 26 years as a social worker for the County of Los Angeles, She raised a daughter, Tamara, as a single mom and owned a home. Unfortunately, Mrs. Jones was stricken with a terminal illness and had to deal with severe pain. During that time, a family member committed title fraud on her home.

Mrs. Jones passed away, and Tamara received the unexpected notice that her mother’s home would be sold in a foreclosure sale within weeks.

“Despite her physical suffering, I witnessed her endure even more pain when she was left feeling victimized by her (family member),” said Tamara. “Unfortunately, I now understand there are so many more consequences, financial and emotional, that victims of real estate fraud suffer.”

Tamara contacted DCBA’s Foreclosure Prevention unit, who provide free, reliable service to Los Angeles County homeowners.

A DCBA investigator got the mortgage company to postpone the sale while they could investigate. In most cases, DCBA’s Foreclosure Prevention team will assess the homeowner’s situation, review the California foreclosure process, and advise them to be vigilant of people promising to stop the foreclosure or modify their loan for a fee.

After eight months of struggles and negotiations with the lender, DCBA got a loan modification request approved. Tamara completed her trial-period payments and now awaits the final loan modification agreement to finalize saving her mother’s home, thanks to DCBA’s team of foreclosure prevention experts.

“I don’t know exactly what (DCBA) did, but I feel you are one of the miracles this ugly mess of mine has blessed upon me,” Tamara said. “I am humbled by those who have helped me along this journey.”

If you are behind on your mortgage payments or facing a foreclosure, contact DCBA’s Foreclosure Prevention unit at (800) 593-8222. All of our services are free.

* The last name of the homeowner has been changed to protect her anonymity.