If researchers at the Center for Responsible Lending are on target when they say the country is only halfway through the foreclosure crisis, many more people are going to be conned out of a great deal of money trying to save their homes.

But it doesn't have to be like that. And it won't be if Uncle Sam has his way.

The government is coming down hard on swindlers who cheat terrified owners willing to try almost anything to avoid foreclosure. Last month, for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to shut down two alleged loan modification mills that the agency claims bilked people out of more than $10 million.