Scam artists are preying on troubled homeowners across the country and stripping millions of dollars in equity from thousands who are facing foreclosure, according to Foreclosures.com, Fair Oaks, Calif.Citing a report from the National Consumer Law Center, Foreclosures.com president Alexis McGee described three variants of scams being practiced in many states. "Some so-called foreclosure rescuers charge huge fees to 'negotiate' with the lender, or to complete simple paperwork," Ms. McGee said. "And in most cases, the so-called rescuer simply abandons the distressed homeowner after collecting the money." Another scheme involves transferring the house title to a third party, allowing owners to stay on as tenants with an option to buy back the house on terms that cannot be met. "The bandits then evict the former owners and walk off with their equity," the company said. In a third scheme, the scam artist fraudulently induces the owner to give away the house by signing a quit-claim deed under the guise of obtaining a new mortgage. Foreclosures.com can be found online at http://www.foreclosures.com.

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