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The 13th Annual Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, Sept. 17 at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club, 1560 Country Club Drive, Los Altos. Early bird reservations at a price of $225 are now available for SILVAR members until April 15.

Regular cost per person is $275, which includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and award ceremony reception. Registration starts at 11 a.m., with a Shotgun Start at 12 p.m. (Scramble Format). A no-host cocktail reception will be held at 5 p.m.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament is a wonderful opportunity for members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) to help their communities while enjoying a spectacular day of golf. Proceeds from the annual event go to the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, which makes grants available to organizations that help youth, disadvantaged individuals and low-income families and seniors in the communities where SILVAR members live and work. The golf tournament proceeds also fund the Charitable Foundation’s annual Scholarship Program, which awards a $1,000 scholarship grant to each of 18 graduating seniors selected from public high schools in Silicon Valley.

Members may now register online at http://ims.silvar.org/. For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact SILVAR Development Director Kelly Dadsetan at (408) 200-0117, or email kdadsetan@silvar.org.

California homeowners need to beware of phone, mail or personal solicitations from scam artists offering assistance related to the recent national mortgage settlement. The California Attorney General’s office has issued a warning about this latest scam and REALTORS® are passing on the warning to their clients.

The national mortgage settlement reached last month by 49 state attorneys general and the federal government with five of the largest loan servicers – Bank of America/Countrywide, JPMorgan Chase/Washington Mutual, GMAC Mortgage/Ally Financial, Citibank/CitiMortgage and Wells Fargo/Wachovia provides as much as $25 billion in relief to distressed borrowers and direct payments to states and the federal government. The agreement settles state and federal findings that the country’s five largest loan servicers routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct. The settlement provides benefits to borrowers whose loans are owned by these banks and to many of the borrowers whose loans they service.

Third parties claiming to offer homeowners access to funds under the national mortgage settlement are likely running a scam. Homeowners receiving such solicitations should not provide any personal or financial information and should report the solicitation to the California Department of Justice or file a complained online at http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL.

“Scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners. Their goal is to make a quick profit through fees for services they claim they can do,” said Suzanne Yost, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.

Californians seeking relief under the state’s $18 billion mortgage settlement are advised to follow these tips to avoid falling prey to such scams:

  • Be skeptical of third party phone solicitations. Only your bank/loan servicer can assist you with regard to the recent national mortgage settlement.
  • Do not give your personal financial information to a solicitor such as your bank account number, social security number or even the name of your loan servicer. Your bank will already have this information.
  • Never pay an up-front fee for mortgage-related services. It is against California law and should be reported to the California Department of Justice.

If you think you may be eligible for relief under the national mortgage settlement, call your bank directly. For additional information regarding the mortgage settlement, please visit: http://oag.ca.gov/nationalmortgagesettlement and http://oag.ca.gov/nationalmortgagesettlement/faqs

For free, trustworthy advice, homeowners may also call a HUD approved counselor at (888) 995-4673, or call Keep Your Home CA at (888) 954-5337.

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