I guess fraudsters never really go away, they just modify their schemes, so to speak.
The bubble years saw a profusion of con men and women luring buyers into crazy, built-to-self-destruct subprime mortgages.
Now there's a legion of meanies out there cashing in on the desperate hopes of struggling homeowners, claiming to have a team of attorneys ready to pull strings and that, lo and behold, that you have already been approved for a loan modification!
OK, well if it sounds too good to be true ...
A West Newbury man is among ten indicted Christmas week for their part allegedly running a boiler room operation that made millions off the backs of homeowners facing foreclosure. Here's a link to Inman News, where I spotted the story.
FHA All Day cheated thousands of homeowners across the country out of an estimated $7 million by promising to win mortgage modifications, only to take the money and run.
(Here's a case as well for the new consumer protection agency down in Washington. I mean why should any company be allowed to use a fed acronym like FHA? It would be like a butcher selling rotten mean under the name FDA Meats.)
Anyway, the Florida-based operation worked the phones from a large call center, undoubtedly helped by the official sounding name.
The fee for the phony services ranged from $2,000 to $2,500.
The alleged con artists include a former player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I'm sorry, but what a loser.
The feds have also lowered the boom on a second group, based in Los Angeles.
The Rodis Law Group and America's Law Group allegedly reaped $12 million through allegedly bogus loan modification schemes.
Here's part of the FBI's press statement on the case:
The Rodis Law Group, and its successor company, America's Law Group, allegedly advertised loan modification assistance on radio stations nationwide. According to the indictment, many of these radio advertisements featured Rodis' voice telling homeowners that a "team of experienced attorneys" who were "highly skilled in negotiating lower interest rates and even lowering your principal balance" would negotiate with mortgage lenders. Sales staff hired and trained by Farris and D'Antonio allegedly told interested homeowners that Rodis Law Group was "100 percent successful," "routinely lowered monthly payments," and obtained reduced principal balances. According to the indictment, once the defendants and their co-conspirators convinced homeowners to pay a fee of several thousand dollars, little to no effort was made to obtain loan modifications. After making their payments, homeowners who tried to get updates on the status of their cases were often unable to contact anyone at either company.
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