Lawmakers Revisiting Law to Protect Homeowners from Foreclosure Scams - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lawmakers Revisiting Law to Protect Homeowners from Foreclosure Scams

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Washington lawmakers are re-visiting a law passed last year.  The Distressed Property Law was passed to help protect homeowners from scams, but it also had unintended consequences.

Attorney General Rob McKenna originally proposed the law to protect them from scammers, but the version that passed Congress also prevented brokers and agents who were legitimately trying to help.  The law is called the Distressed Property Law, referring to homeowners who are facing foreclosure. 

Foreclosure rates all across the country have been on the rise, and that means more people need help, but, it also opens up opportunities for scammers to take advantage of already struggling mortgage payers.  The president of the Tri-City Association of Realtors, Glenn Clark, explains how scammers do this.  He says they "tell you what, I'll just go ahead and bail you out. We'll leave the loan in your name.  We'll sell it at a date in the future and we'll split the profit. But nothing in writing, and all of a sudden, they sold it and the people were out and the scammer got away with the proceeds."

Clark has been in Olympia talking with lawmakers about the new bill.  He says it has bi-partisan support and expects it will pass.