Antonovich Moves to Protect Citizens From Repair Scams

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a motion by Chairman Mike Antonovich "to better protect senior citizens from home repair rackets that can cost them their property."

Antonovich initiated the motion after reading an article headlined "Misdeeds of Trust" in the Oct. 20 Real Estate Section of The Times.

Citing the story by reporter Evelyn De Wolfe, Antonovich said "unscrupulous individuals are preying on the elderly and the poor through the use of equity swindles and fraudulent foreclosures."

Part of the problem, he said, is a state law that prohibits the County Recorder from requiring proof of the authenticity of documents, beyond the signing and notarization of documents submitted for recording.

Further safeguards could help curb the growing number of unscrupulous deals and false documents in connection with equity deals and deeds of trust involved in home repair agreements. "If that is so, the law ought to be changed," Antonovich stated.

The Antonovich proposal directs the Registrar-Recorder and the County Counsel to "jointly review this situation and report back to the board in two weeks with findings and recommendations."

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