Another Scam Bites the Dust
Thanks to the work of the Office of the Inspector General for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), there is one less predator out there seeking to take advantage of distressed homeowners.
This past Tuesday, SIGTARP announced that two men have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scheme that defrauded many distressed homeowners. The two men used their business, which operated under multiple names, to convince struggling homeowners to sign over the deeds to their homes in order to avoid foreclosure. However, after falsely telling homeowners they were negotiating certain terms with their lenders, they rented out their homes to tenants unaware of the scheme in order to make a profit.
Additionally, they submitted fraudulent loan modification applications to mortgage lenders via the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) without the homeowner’s knowledge or consent; this allowed them to temporarily postpone the foreclosure process in order to receive more rental payments. Sadly, many borrowers who did business with this company eventually lost their homes to foreclosure.
While bringing scam artists to justice is always welcome news, there are still many perpetrators out there that continue to exploit financially distressed homeowners. Indeed, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently reported that the number of foreclosure rescue scams in 2012 increased to 4,400 from 2,800 in 2011.
HPF encourages all homeowners to learn the warnings signs of a scam in order to protect themselves from becoming a scam victim.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, please report it to our anti-scam team by calling 888-995-HOPE (4673). The information we receive is then used by law enforcement agencies, such as SIGTARP, during their investigation into fraudulent organizations.