Michelle Singletary

The Fed Reserve Goes to the Movies

By Michelle Singletary, Posted April 9th, 2009

The Federal Reserve has a new plan to steer people clear of mortgage scams. They're taking their message to the movies.

Read from Michelle Singletary's column on it from The Washington Post:

In an effort to push people away from foreclosure scams, the Federal Reserve has commissioned a 30-second commercial to be shown in the nine states with the highest incidence of home foreclosures.

The commercial will air Friday through April 17 in 18 movie theaters in California, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. Many are multiplex theaters, and the commercial will run on all screens. So in addition to movie previews and the plea for moviegoers to turn off their cellphones, people will be warned to avoid outfits that will take advantage of them if they are having trouble making their mortgage payments.

The take-away tagline for the crisp, slick ad says: "It shouldn't hurt to get help!" In the voice-over, troubled homeowners are encouraged to go to http://www.federalreserve.gov and click on the link "5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams."

The Fed isn't alone in trying to stomp out these schemes multiplying like cockroaches as the housing crisis worsens. There is a federal and state-led posse trying to round up the scoundrels ripping off homeowners at their most vulnerable time.

The Federal Trade Commission, along with the departments of Treasury, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development, announced joint efforts to coordinate and aggressively go after mortgage modification and home foreclosure rescue companies.

"For millions of Americans, the dream of homeownership has become a nightmare because of the unscrupulous actions of individuals and companies who exploit the misfortune of others," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. "The Department of Justice's message is simple: If you discriminate against borrowers or prey on vulnerable homeowners with fraudulent mortgage schemes, we will find you, and we will punish you."

Read the rest of the article at WashingtonPost.com.

Michelle Singletary is a personal finance expert whose column, "The Color of Money", is syndicated nationally. She is booked exclusively for speaking events through Premiere Speakers. For information on how to bring her to your next event, visit www.premierespeakers.com/michelle_singletary.

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