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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: January 28, 2015 at 04:00:00

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Attorney Gets Eight Years On Deed Forgery, Charging Clients For Unperformed Services

Posted on November 04, 2011
The Cincinnati Business Courier reports:Northern Kentucky attorney Patrick Moeves will serve eight years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of theft and forgery.WLWT.com reports that Moeves charged clients fees for work he didn't perform and forged the name of state Sen...

Suit: Investment House Biggie Played Role In Deed Forgery In Effort To Thwart $25.3M Creditor From Attaching Interest In Ranch From Dying Cousin

Posted on November 04, 2011
In New York City, Reuters reports:Herbert A. Allen, founder of an annual business conference that draws a host of media moguls, is accused in a lawsuit of aiding a family fraud to stop a dying cousin's creditor collecting $25.3 million.***The plaintiff, Excelsior Capital LLC, said Herbert A...

Six-Year Saga Of Long Island Couple Fighting Foreclosure Takes New Twist As Trial Judge Agrees To Reopen Foreclosure Judgment

Posted on November 03, 2011
In Riverhead, New York, Newsday reports:A state judge Monday agreed to reopen the foreclosure judgment against an East Patchogue couple -- a year after his order to wipe out their mortgage was overturned -- in the latest twist in a six-year battle. Judge Jeffrey Arlen Spinner in Riverhead signed an order to temporarily bar IndyMac Mortgage Services from auctioning off the home of Gregory Horoski

Bay State Appeals Court: Failure To Record Loan Extensions, Passage Of Time Fatal To Mortgages; Lenders Left Holding Bag With Voided Lien Interests

Posted on November 03, 2011
Lexology reports:The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently issued two separate decisions interpreting Massachusetts General Laws c. 260, 33, the Obsolete Mortgages statute. The result, in both cases, was a finding that each lender's mortgage had been discharged, notwithstanding the fact that the party seeking to obtain the benefit of the discharge had actual knowledge that there was an

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Feds Seek Triple Damages, Fines In Suit Alleging Bankster Duped HUD/FHA Into Insuring Crappy Home Mortgage Loans

Posted on November 03, 2011
In New York City, Reuters reports:Prosecutors sued a large U.S. mortgage broker and two top executives for an alleged decade-long fraud that cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars on risky home loans.The lawsuit seeks triple damages and civil fines against Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp, which once billed itself as the largest privately held U...

Another Federal F'closure Relief Program Goes Into Effect; Will Purportedly Give Some Borrowers Chance To Have Cases Reviewed For Bankster Wrongdoing

Posted on November 03, 2011
The Washington Post reports:More than 4 million borrowers who have faced foreclosure since early 2009 will have the chance to have their cases reviewed for potential wrongdoing, federal regulators and some of the nation?s largest mortgage servicers announced Tuesday...

Sticky-Fingered Title Agents Continue Getting Hammered; Suspect Cops Plea To Mortgaging Home Out From Under Unwitting Owner, Diverting Closing Cash

Posted on November 02, 2011
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Baltimore, Maryland):Gary Pierce, age 44, of Edgewater, Maryland, pleaded guilty [] to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a five year scheme to divert or hold mortgage payoff funds from clients? closings on 17 Maryland properties...

Feds Score Guilty Verdict As Title Agency Owner Goes Down On RICO Charges; Co-Defendant Who Pocketed Kickbacks Cops Plea, Cooperates w/ Prosecutors

Posted on November 02, 2011
In Cleveland, Ohio, the Plain Dealer reports:A jury yesterday found 34-year-old title company owner Donna Sherman guilty of corrupt activity, theft by deception, money laundering, tampering with records and telecommunications fraud -- a total of 23 counts...

Clueless Upstate New York Foreclosure Mill Sweatshop Operator Makes Laughable Attempt To Media-Spin Way Out Of 'Halloween' Fiasco

Posted on November 02, 2011
In Buffalo, New York, Buffalo Business First reports on the attempt attorney and foreclosure mill sweatshop operator Steven J. Baum has made to 'positive-spin' his way out of the mess he finds himself in after the columnist Joe Nocera's story (with pictures) of his tasteless 2010 Halloween party was published in The New York Times:The Baum story has gone worldwide...

BofA Reaches New High In Low; Takes Out Force Placed Insurance Policy On Empty Slab On 'Ike'-Demolished Home, Then Starts F'closure Over Hiked Premium

Posted on November 02, 2011
In Seabrook, Texas, KPRC-TV Channel 2 reports:Hurricane Ike destroyed dozens of homes in Seabrook. Many families are just now rebuilding, but when Brad Gana tried to pick up the pieces, he learned that Bank of America was trying to take what little he had left...

Suit: Accused Murderer Swiped $2M Interest In Apt. Bldg. From Elderly Stroke Victim, Used Rent Cash To Pay Legal Fees, Planned To Cash In, Leave Town

Posted on November 01, 2011
In New York City and Morristown, New Jersey, The Star Ledger reports:Accused murderer Kashif Parvaiz cheated an elderly friend recovering from a stroke by taking a $2 million real estate "gift" in 2009 and not paying his bills as promised, according to a complaint filed by the man?s attorney...

Elderly Owners Of Mortgage-Free Home Face Eviction After Missing $2500 Tax Payment As City Peddles Real Estate Tax Lien To 3rd Party Investor

Posted on November 01, 2011
In Worcester, Massachusetts, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports:Jadwiga Ortiz, owner of a three-family dwelling at 71 Harrison St., has lost that property, with an assessed valued of almost $200,000. That is not so unusual these days, given the high rate of foreclosures brought on by the big banks that saddled some homebuyers with exorbitant and unconscionable mortgages...

Cops: Cousin Of Two Autistic Men Took Out HELOC On Their Mortgage-Free Home, Used Proceeds For Herself; Bond Set At $75K As Residence Faces F'closure

Posted on November 01, 2011
In Palm Coast, Florida, The Daytona Beach News Journal reports:The 59-year-old cousin of two disabled men became involved in their financial affairs after their mother died and stole more than $70,000 from them over several years, according to State Attorney's Office officials...

NYS F'closure Mill Sweatshop Denies That Employees Came To Holloween Party Dressed In Attire Mocking Booted Homeowners; Pictures Tell Different Story

Posted on October 31, 2011
Author and opinion columnist Joe Nocera writes in The New York Times:On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a ?foreclosure mill? firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes...

Closing Attorney Found Liable In Civil Suit For Role In Sale Leaseback Peddling, Equity Stripping Ripoff Targeting High-Equity, Low Cash Homeowners

Posted on October 31, 2011
In Marblehead, Massachusetts, The Salem News reports:A suspended Marblehead attorney has been ordered to pay a $70,000 civil penalty and barred from working as a closing attorney or title agent in any real estate transaction, as a result of his role in a fraudulent foreclosure "rescue" scheme, the attorney general's office announced []...

Cobb County Cops Ramp Up Heat In Probe Into Suspected Vacant Foreclosed Home Hijacking Racket; Say There Could Be Hundreds Of Victims

Posted on October 31, 2011
In Cobb County, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:Cobb County police say there could be hundreds of victims involved in a foreclosure leasing business first uncovered by Channel 2 Action News. Investigators said John Harris broke into homes across metro Atlanta, changed the locks and then leased them...

Las Vegas Cops: Scam Artists Seeking Free Housing Now Pose As Victims In Effort To Hijack Possession Of Vacant Foreclosed Homes

Posted on October 31, 2011
In Las Vegas, Nevada, KLAS-TV Channel 8 reports:Metro police say rental scams are on the rise and what makes it difficult to stop is that the fraud can come from many different directions. The classic rental scam works by somebody posing as a landlord and illegally leasing out someone else's property...

Indiana AG: Fla. Outfits Fleeced Homeowners Seeking F'closure Assistance Out Of Upfront Fees By Failing To Provide Services, Stiffing Them On Refunds

Posted on October 31, 2011
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Legal Newsline reports:Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a lawsuit on Thursday against two Florida-based foreclosure assistance companies that allegedly promised to stop home foreclosures and failed to deliver.Community One Law Center and National Law Partners allegedly charged exorbitant fees for their services, with some Indiana residents paying the

Eight More Taken Down In Northern California Foreclosure Sale Bid-Rigging Conspiracies; Feds Run Score Up To 18 & Counting In Continuing Probe

Posted on October 30, 2011
From the U.S. Department of Justice:Eight Northern California real estate investors have agreed to plead guilty [Thursday] for their roles in two separate conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced...

Bellyaching BofA Bankster Wails To Employees In Effort To Whitewash Negative Public Image

Posted on October 30, 2011
Bloomberg reports:Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said he?s ?incensed? by public criticism of his company and is pushing back by reminding local leaders of its contributions to their economies. Moynihan, 52, told employees in a global town hall meeting last week from the firm?s Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters that the ?place to win the battle? over the bank

NY, Delaware AG 'Tag Team' Partners Begin Firing At MERS With Civil Lawsuit, Subpoena Request In Foreclosure Fraud Probe

Posted on October 30, 2011
Reuters reports:MERS, the electronic mortgage registry used by the banking industry, was sued by Delaware on Thursday and accused of deceptive practices that led to unlawful shortcuts in dealing with the foreclosure crisis.New York's attorney general also took action against MERS, subpoenaing the registry this week for information about how it is used by major banks and a foreclosure law firm, a

Nevada AG Pinches Three In Alleged Foreclosure Rescue Racket That Filed Phony Land Documents Purporting To Eliminate Mortgages From Homes

Posted on October 30, 2011
From the Office of the Nevada Attorney General:Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced [] the arrest of three individuals in connection with the operation of a local mortgage scam. Alex Soria, Sonia Rodis, and Hans Johns have all been charged with two counts of Mortgage Fraud and two counts of Theft in an amount in excess of $2500 for their part in the operation of BioGreen Teck,

Washington State AG Cautions Homeowners Against Rackets Peddling So-Called 'Securitization Audits' & Other Loan Modification Scams

Posted on October 29, 2011
From the Office of the Washington State Attorney General:Attorney General Rob McKenna today reminded homeowners needing assistance to avoid companies selling ?foreclosure rescue,? ?securitization audits? and other home loan modification schemes.?Free or reduced fee housing counselors are available nationwide to assist homeowners in working with their lenders, so there really isn?t any reason for

S. Calif. Man Who Scammed Hundreds With Deed-Retrieval Racket Using Correspondence Simulating That Of Official Government Agency Gets Six Months

Posted on October 29, 2011
In Riverside County, California, The Desert Sun reports:A Los Angeles man who stole tens of thousands of dollars from Riverside County property owners he deceived in a money-for-deeds scam was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and three years probation...

Attorney Targeted By Calif. AG For Allegedly Misleading Strapped Homeowners Into Joining Mass Joinder Lawsuits Fires Back With His Own Legal Action

Posted on October 29, 2011
California Watch reports:Los Angeles-area attorney Mitchell J. Stein refers to himself as "The Doberman" and his website advertises, "You Hold The Leash."In August, California Attorney General Kamala Harris raided Stein's offices and accused him and other lawyers of fraudulently misleading thousands of struggling homeowners into paying to be part of mass lawsuits against mortgage lenders like

HUD Brings Housing Discrimination Charges Against Two Landlords In Separate Actions For Allegedly Hassling Tenants Over Support Animals

Posted on October 29, 2011
From press releases from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:HUD CHARGES IOWA LANDLORDS WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND HER MOTHER:HUD brings the charge on behalf of the child and her mother, claiming the owners refused to allow the seven-year-old girl to have a medically-prescribed emotional support animal...

HUD: Landlord Drove Elderly Couple Out Of Rented Home Because Of Manager?s Perception That They Were Unable To Care For Themselves

Posted on October 29, 2011
From a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development press release:HUD CHARGES MINNESOTA PROPERTY OWNER, MANAGER WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ELDERLY COUPLE (Manager pressured couple to move to assisted living even though they were able to live independently):The U...

FBI: Mortgage Fraud, I.D. Theft Among More Popular Rackets Attracting Street Gangs

Posted on October 29, 2011
Daily Finance reports:Violent street gangs that have historically focused on drug trafficking and gun running are expanding into white collar crime. According to a report released last Friday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, members from a slew of gangs, including the Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords and Latin Kings are branching out into mortgage fraud, identity theft, the

Receiver For Hotels In F'closure Wants To Sell Bldgs Vacant, Boot 71 Low Income Renters In Process Despite Improvements Already Made By Advocacy Group

Posted on October 29, 2011
In Vancouver, British Columbia, CBC News reports:Dozens of low-income tenants in two hotels in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside are facing an uncertain future, as their new homes might soon be sold out from under them, CBC News has learned.The owner of the Palace Hotel and Wonder Rooms has run into serious financial problems and his buildings have been placed into receivership and the receiver wants

Another Title Agency Owner Goes Down For Illegally Pocketing Real Estate Escrow Account Cash While Stiffing Mortgage Lenders On Lien Payoffs

Posted on October 28, 2011
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Baltimore, Maryland):U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Michael A. Gmeinwieser, age 38, of Severn, Maryland, [] to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud in a scheme to divert over $3 million in settlement funds intended to pay off the previous mortgage on the properties to himself and his company...

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