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Scam hits struggling homeowners

A mortgage scam has deceived homeowners in 27 states, including at least 17 in New Jersey. Jason Method of the (Neptune, N.J.) Asbury Park Press investigated the fraud, in which a company contacted homeowners who had been struggling to make their payments. The company promised them a deal: An investor would temporarily buy they property while the homeowners paid rent to live in their own house and bought the property back within two years. But larger loans were taken out on the properties using the names of unsuspecting "straw buyers," third-party investors who were paid to lend their credit scores to help the struggling homeowners.

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