Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would crack down on foreclosure rescue scams.
One bill from Delegate G. Glenn Oder of Newport News would make it a felony for people to participate in or service foreclosure rescues for profit. Scam artists sometimes con unwary homeowners into signing papers or relinquishing the deed to their home.
The bill's supporters are working to ensure the legislation doesn't outlaw legitimate efforts to help financially struggling homeowners.
A House of Delegates committee will likely examine the bill next Tuesday. The bill is part of a broader effort from legislators throughout the General Assembly to address problems in the housing market. A collapse in the subprime mortgage has led to a surge in foreclosures.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia says there were 13,200 foreclosures in Virginia during the first eight months of 2007. That's compared to 4,350 for the entire previous year.