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Real Estate & Property Law

The Home Equity Theft Reporter The Home Equity Theft Reporter

Welcome to The Home Equity Theft Reporter, a blog dedicated to informing the consumer public and the legal profession about Home Equity Theft issues.
By r morris

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Last Entry: April 08, 2014 at 04:00:00

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GA Cops Pinch 'Sovereign Citizen' In 'Paper Terrorism' Case; Suspect Allegedly Targeted Government Officials w/ 'Maritime Liens' Filed Against Homes

Posted on October 22, 2011
In Fannin County, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:A north Georgia man is under arrest, accused of threatening several public officials through what law enforcement officers call "paper terrorism." Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Robert Eugene Stephens filed fraudulent liens against his victims...

Title Agency Owner Nailed For Attempt To Cover Escrow Shortage By Refinancing Home, Failing To Pay Off Existing Mtgs, Applying Proceeds To Shortfall

Posted on October 22, 2011
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Baltimore, Maryland):James Kevin Hughes, age 53, of Crownsville, Maryland pleaded guilty [] to wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud lenders and a title insurance company of approximately $3.1 million. A co-defendant is scheduled for trial on November 7, 2011...

California Regulator Issues C&D Order Against Operator Allegedly Running Illegal Upfront Fee Loan Modification Scam

Posted on October 22, 2011
California Watch reports:The [California] state Department of Real Estate issued a desist-and-refrain order against a Los Angeles man accused of running an illegal loan modification business, as boom times continue for mortgage scams.Last year, California Watch reported that George Bolanos was targeting Latino homeowners in Southern California with offers to help avoid foreclosure for an illegal

Rhode Island AG Scores TRO In Effort To Shut Down Alleged Loan Modification Racket Accused Of Clipping Homeowners With Upfront Fees For Phony Promises

Posted on October 22, 2011
From the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General:Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced the Office sought and received a temporary restraining order shutting down East Coast Fidelity, LLC, aka Fidelity Corp., and the company?s manager Janice McCarthy, citing the company in violation of the state?s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Mortgage Foreclosure Consultant Regulation Act...

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Mechanics Liens In NYS: Easy To Create, A Bitch To Enforce Or Defend

Posted on October 22, 2011
In New York City, attorney Victor M. Metsch writes in Thomson Reuters News & Insight:Your sub-contractor client has not been paid for work, labor and materials on a real estate construction job. She sends you copies of the sub-contract, a summary of the work done and the invoices...

Las Vegas Woman Cops Plea For Role In Scheme To Hijack Control Of HOA To Dispense Financial Favors To Selected Attorneys, Contractors

Posted on October 22, 2011
From the U.S. Department of Justice:A Las Vegas woman pleaded guilty [] for her role in a scheme to fraudulently gain control of condominium homeowners? associations (HOA) in the Las Vegas area so that the HOAs would direct business to a certain law firm and construction company, announced [several federal and state law enforcement officials]...

Strip Shows, Sex Peddling, Drug Sales, Gang Activity Put Foreclosed Homes Left Vacant, Unsecured By Reckless Loan Servicers To 'Lowest & Worst Use'

Posted on October 22, 2011
In Jamaica, Queens, The New York Times reports:The boarded-up homes that changed the face of Jamaica, Queens, in recent years were bad enough, the flotsam of the record wave of housing foreclosures that roared through the streets like nowhere else in New York City...

Lawsuit: Operators Of Bogus Real Estate Investment Seminar Used Participant Questionaire To Get, Use Property ID Info To Score Forged Mortgage Loans

Posted on October 21, 2011
In Orange County, California, Courthouse News Service reports:California couple say they were victimized by operators of a "real estate seminar" who had them fill out forms describing real estate they owned, then used the information to "brazenly forge" their names and get "a fraudulent $245,000 loan" secured by their property...

Illinois AG Slams Outfits, Individuals In Three Seperate Suits Alleging Operation Of Upfront Fee Loan Modification, Debt Settlement Scams

Posted on October 21, 2011
From the Office of the Illinois Attorney General:Attorney General Lisa Madigan [] filed lawsuits against three Chicago area companies for fraudulent mortgage rescue and debt settlement schemes that cheated consumers out of large thousands of dollars.(1)Madigan filed the lawsuits [] in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging the three companies took large upfront fees from consumers with a promise to

California Appeals Court Affirms 46-Year Prison Sentence For Sale Leaseback Peddler Who Ran Purported Federal Land Grant Home-Saving Racket

Posted on October 21, 2011
A California Court of Appeals recently affirmed a 46-year prison sentence(1) for William Jeffrey Hutchings for running a racket where he peddled a phony sale leaseback land grant program targeting homeowners in or near foreclosure in the San Diego area...

Harvard Law Students At Center Of Another Foreclosure Fight On Behalf Of Massachusetts Homeowner Before State High Court

Posted on October 21, 2011
From Harvard Law School News:Just two months after landing a major victory in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of homeowners fighting eviction, the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) was back before the high court last week seeking more protections for people with homes in foreclosure...

Bay State High Court To Foreclosure Fraud Banksters: 'You Can't Give What You Don't Have!" (No Matter How Unwitting Or Lacking In Bad Faith Buyer Is)

Posted on October 20, 2011
Georgetown University Professor of Law Adam J. Levitin writes in Credit Slips:The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court just handed down a second major mortgage foreclosure ruling, Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez. The case was an Ibanez follow-up dealing with the rights of a purchaser at an invalid foreclosure sale...

Valuing A Covered Loss Under Title Insurance Policy? Not As Simple As It May Seem

Posted on October 20, 2011
The Alabama Supreme Court recently addressed, without deciding, several somewaht nuanced issues relating to the valuation of a covered loss under a title insurance policy.The case is probably not of any interest to anyone other than title insurance geeks, although possibly, with all the crappy real estate titles created by fraudulent foreclosures seeping back into the market, homebuyers left

Florida Insurer's Roof Inspection Requirement May Leave Some Homeowners Stuck Between Possible Foreclosure Threats & Contractor Ripoffs

Posted on October 20, 2011
In New Port Richey, Florida, The Tampa Tribune reports:Roofer Mark Gelling was saddened when he heard about a Pasco family on the verge of losing their home because of a worn out roof. But empathy turned into anger when he saw detailed photos of the roof, which seemed to be in fine shape...

Bay State High Court: Innocent 3rd Party Purchaser At Faulty F'closure Sale Left Holding The Bag; Unwitting Buyer Merely Acquires Mortgage Assignment

Posted on October 19, 2011
In Boston, Massachusetts, Bloomberg reports:A Massachusetts man who bought property in a faulty foreclosure sale isn?t the true owner and so doesn?t have the right to sue over it, the state?s high court ruled. The Supreme Judicial Court, which in January found that banks can?t foreclose on a house if they don?t own the mortgage,(1) went one step further in a closely watched case and said a sale

NC High Court To Decide Litigation Where Bankster Allegedly Failed To Prove It Had Right To Foreclose On Homeowner

Posted on October 19, 2011
In Raleigh, North Carolina, an excerpt from an editorial in the Charlotte News & Observer:Today, the state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case of Linda Dobson, an impoverished widow represented by Legal Aid of N.C.,(1) who is appealing a ruling that would result in the loss of her home through foreclosure to a large mortgage servicer - before the party seeking to enforce a loan document

Phoenix Man Pleas Guilty In Upfront Fee Foreclosure Rescue Scam; Agrees To Pay Ripoff Victims $2.8M+ In Restitution

Posted on October 19, 2011
In Phoenix, Arizona, KPHO-TV Channel 5 reports:A Phoenix man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and mail fraud in a Valley foreclosure scam, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Luis Belevan, 34, and his co-conspirator, were charged with defrauding at least 1,800 local distressed homeowners out of a $1,595 up-front fee for bogus promises of assistance in avoiding home foreclosure

Bankster Bellyaching Continues Over Adverse Florida Ruling Requiring Valid Affidavits To Proceed With Foreclosure

Posted on October 19, 2011
In West Palm Beach, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports:An appeals court ruling in favor of Wellington homeowners in foreclosure is causing "calamitous confusion," according to bank attorneys who say it could snarl hundreds of thousands of pending foreclosure cases...

Sunday School Teacher/Church Band Singer Leaves Banksters Terrified After Squeezing BofA For $8.5B; Once Told Them To 'Take Their Money & Shove It!'

Posted on October 18, 2011
Forbes reports:The biggest private legal settlement in the history of Wall Street was a few sentences away from death. In early June a ­little-known Texas lawyer named Kathy Patrick was putting the final touches on her carefully crafted $8.5 billion deal with Bank of America over so-called mortgage put-backs, when she got a last-minute demand from the other side...

Suit: 'Successful' Loan Modifcations No Guarantee Against Subsequent Mortgage Servicer Abuse; Homeowners Target BofA In Action Seeking Class Status

Posted on October 18, 2011
The Boston Globe reports:Property owners in Massachusetts and across the United States say they are being threatened with foreclosure and assessed unfair fees by lenders even after signing agreements with those companies to make lower mortgage payments and stay in their homes...

Whistleblower Suit Alleging That Lenders Clipped VA Borrowers w/ Illegal Attorney Fees Disguised As Title Costs At Center Of Another Bankster Scandal

Posted on October 18, 2011
The Washington Post reports:The chairman of the House Veterans? Affairs Committee ordered his staff to begin an investigation Friday into allegations that some of the nation?s largest lending institutions have cheated veterans and taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars by charging illegal fees in home refinancing loans...

Pleas Entered In Mobile Foreclosure Sale Bid-Rigging Racket; Sentencing Delayed As Pair Agree To 'Sing' In Continuing Probe

Posted on October 17, 2011
In Mobile, Alabama, the Press Register reports:Two real estate investors pleaded guilty [...] to federal bid-rigging charges accusing them of manipulating auctions of foreclosed properties.According to their plea agreements, Harold H. Buchman and the company he co-owned, M&B Builders, conspired with Allen K...

Bankster Required To Provide Evidence Of Actual Possession Of Mortage Note Where Copy Shows Endorsment 'In Blank'

Posted on October 17, 2011
A United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that summary judgment granted by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in an action by a debtor to challenge the standing of a lender holding the mortgage on debtor's home was improper because there was a material issue of fact regarding whether the bankster had possession of the original promissory note...

Granite State High Court To Rule On Banking Regulator's Order Voiding Bankster's Mortgage Note In Countrywide 'Bait & Switch' Case

Posted on October 17, 2011
In Manchester, New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Sunday News reports:In his last administrative act as banking commissioner, on June 4, 2010, Peter Hildreth ruled that Countrywide Home Loans violated the state?s consumer protection law when it switched the terms of a Manchester woman?s mortgage just days before her closing...

Suits: Crooked Rabbi's R/E Acquisition Formula: Borrow Funds Against Properties After Using Forged Deeds To Snatch Title; Slow-Footed Cops Yet To Act

Posted on October 16, 2011
In New York City, Real Estate Weekly reports:A web of lawsuits have been woven around an allegedly crooked rabbi accused of forging paperwork to steal a whole building. According to court records and knowledgeable sources, Benjamin Herbst and cohorts have been the focus of a number of real estate lawsuits similar to the one Real Estate Weekly reported last week he is involved in at the midtown

Phony Bank Reconciliations Dupe Title Insurer In Effort To Cover Up $3M R/E Escrow Shortage; Underwriter Left With $1.7M Tab For Unpaid Loan Payoffs

Posted on October 16, 2011
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Baltimore, Maryland):Brenda Lukenich, age 60, of Hughesville, Maryland pleaded guilty [] to mail fraud arising from a scheme to defraud lenders and a title insurance company of $1.7 million. Two co-defendants are scheduled for trial on November 7, 2011...

Detroit-Area Non-Profit Law Firm Sets Sights On Land Contract/Contract For Deed Rackets Selling Homes With Crappy Title To Unwitting Novice Homebuyers

Posted on October 16, 2011
In Wayne County, Michigan, the Dearborn Press and Guide reports:Wayne County residents, especially life-long renters with no experience of property ownership, need to take proper precautions when purchasing homes on land contracts.***[Legal Aid and Defender Association (LAD)] represents victims of what appears to be a major residential property scam in the city and the county...

'All Cash' Homebuyer/Couple Driven To Brink Of Foreclosure Over $60K+ Escrow Screw-Up; Closing Agent Cuts Check, Satisfies Lien After Media Intervenes

Posted on October 16, 2011
In Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV Channel 4 reports:It's one thing to lose your home because you stopped making payments on your loan or property taxes, but a local couple discovered their dream home was up for auction, because of a $60,000 mistake by the escrow company...

Texas AG Squeezes Roofing Company Into Settlement In Racket Duping Vulnerable Homeowners Hit w/ Severe Weather Events Into Signing 'Loaded' Contracts

Posted on October 15, 2011
From the Office of the Texas Attorney General:A Rosenberg-based roofing contractor [] agreed to reimburse all homeowners who improperly paid the company?s ?liquidated damages? contracts. In June, the Attorney General?s Office charged Holden Roofing Inc...

Homeowner Nearly Driven Into F'closure After Being Victimized By Her Tax Preparer In I.D. Theft Scam That Led To IRS Problems On Taxes She Didn't Owe

Posted on October 15, 2011
In Duluth, Georgia, WSB Radio 750 AM reports:More identity theft cases stemming from a bust earlier this year are coming to light. Police say the total is up to nearly 9,000 and for the first time, one of the victims is speaking out.Jeanette Adams says her problems began in early 2010 when the IRS sent her a letter stating she owed nearly $2,400 in taxes...

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