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Abstract

While foreclosure rescue scam (FRS) victims have many remedies under existing statutes, remedies are inadequate because they fail to holistically address the FRS problem. A successful statutory approach to combating the spread of this insidious scam must rest on three legs: education, enforcement, and litigation. First, homeowners facing foreclosure need timely warnings regarding the existence and prevalence of the FRS before the onslaught of FRSA solicitations begins. Next, in addition to education,homeowners need effective enforcement of the statutes that are supposed to protect them. Finally, homeowners wronged by FRSAs need to be able to seek civil relief that both adequately compensates them for their losses and provides incentives to attorneys willing to represent them in these complex, time-consuming cases. By making only minor amendments to existing statutes, the Washington legislature could accomplish all three goals, thereby significantly strengthening protections for financially distressed homeowners. Therefore, focusing on the State of Washington, this Comment recommends amendments to the Equity Skimming Act (ESA), Deeds of Trust Act, Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account Act, and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).