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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: November 26, 2014 at 04:00:00

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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...

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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...

Pinched Home Hijacking Suspect: 'I Didn't Mean To Commit Crime; I Filed All Proper Paperwork I Learned About At 'Adverse Possession' Seminar'

Posted on October 28, 2011
In Fort Bend County, Texas, KHOU-TV Channel 11 reports:A woman who is facing criminal charges for squatting in a Fort Bend County home said she never intended to break the law. ?I work hard every day and I didn?t do this from a criminal standpoint at all,? said Chinyere Ngwu outside her family?s southeast Houston restaurant...

Cops Nab Renter In Alleged Vacant Foreclosed Home Hijacking Racket; Suspect Invokes 'Unwitting Dupe' Defense; 'I Had No Idea!'

Posted on October 28, 2011
In DeKalb County, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:A man, who told Channel 2 Action News he was an unsuspecting victim, is now under arrest. Prosecutors said Matthew Lowery posed as a renter, in a scheme to steal empty houses.DeKalb County deputies had been looking for Lowery since a grand jury indicted him three weeks ago...

Proposed Class Action Tags Loan Servicer, Law Firm Sweatshop With Charges Of Piling On Bogus Fees On Homeowners During Sloppy Or Fraudulent F'closures

Posted on October 28, 2011
From a BHN Law Firm press release:On behalf of a proposed class of distressed homeowners residing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, BHN Law Firm filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Wells Fargo Bank, N...

Sale Leaseback Equity Stripping Peddler 'Scores' Guilty Verdict In Equity Stripping Ripoff; Grand Larceny, Scheme To Defraud, Conspiracy, Says Jury

Posted on October 27, 2011
In White Plains, New York, The Journal News reports:The last defendant in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud case that officials say swindled four Westchester County families out of their homes was convicted of theft, fraud and conspiracy Tuesday.A jury found Mildred Didio of Manhattan guilty of four felony counts of second-degree grand larceny and one each of first-degree scheme to defraud and

NY AG: Joint Criminal Probe With Delaware Counterpart Into Banksters' Foreclosure Fraud Role Ongoing

Posted on October 27, 2011
Bloomberg reports:New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is working with his Delaware counterpart, Beau Biden, to investigate what he called possible ?criminal acts? by financial institutions tied to the foreclosure crisis.?This was a man-made crisis -- it was created by regulatory neglect and greed,? Schneiderman said last night in a TV interview...

Recent HUD Charges May Indicate Race Discrimination In Housing Remains Alive & Well

Posted on October 27, 2011
From recent press releases from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:HUD CHARGES WISCONSIN LANDLORD WITH REFUSING TO RENT TO AFRICAN AMERICAN COUPLE (La Crosse property manager encouraged whites to apply while telling blacks no apartments were available):HUD brings the charge on behalf of the couple, alleging that Geneva Terrace, Inc...

Third Participant In Maryland Real Estate Escrow Account Ripoff Goes Down; Scam Left Title Insurance Underwriter Holding The Bag, Cleaning Up The Mess

Posted on October 26, 2011
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Baltimore, Maryland):Stephen J. Troese, Sr., age 72, of Davidsonville, Maryland, pleaded guilty [] to wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud lenders and a title insurance company of at least $937,183. The government contends the loss is between $2...

Nevada AG Pinches Suspected Vacant Home Hijacker On Charges Of Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses, Theft, Burglary

Posted on October 26, 2011
From the Office of the Nevada Attorney General:The Office of the Nevada Attorney General announced the arrest of Steven Patrick Nohrden, 36, of Las Vegas, on two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses...

FHA Targets 'Scratch-And-Dent' Investors In Effort To Unload Discounted Federally Insured Home Loans In Default; Some Have Dubious 'Subprime' Past

Posted on October 26, 2011
Bloomberg reports:[T]he Federal Housing Administration is auctioning thousands of defaulted mortgages at prices marked down by as much as 65 percent. If the pilot works as planned, the government mortgage insurer will cut its losses by avoiding foreclosures while giving borrowers a better chance of remaining in their homes...

Florida Appeals Court: Defect In Stipulation Agreement Left Judge Without Jurisdiction To Summarily Enter Foreclosure Judgment Upon Subsequent Default

Posted on October 25, 2011
A Florida appeals court recently ruled that a trial judge improperly overstepped his bounds and exceeded his jurisdiction(1) by summarily entering a foreclosure judgment on a property owner who, after entering a stipulation agreement with the lender in an effort to cure an earlier default, subsequently found himself unable to make the payments on the stipulation agreement...

Arizona Regulators Seize Insolvent Underwriter; Downfall Atttributed To Insuring Too Many Crappy Home Mortgages That Ended In Foreclosure

Posted on October 25, 2011
In Phoenix, Arizona, The Associated Press reports:Insurance regulators in Arizona have seized the main subsidiary of private mortgage insurer PMI Group, which will begin paying claims at just 50%. The seizure follows heavy losses at PMI since the housing market bubble burst...

HUD Continues Battle Against Landlord Housing Discrimination Against Families With Children

Posted on October 25, 2011
From various press releases from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:HUD CHARGES NEW YORK REAL ESTATE COMPANY AND SALESPERSON WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN (Online advertisement stated preference for childless renters):HUD brings the charge on behalf of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), alleging that the advertisements that stated ?Looking For:

Walls Beginning To Close In On Title Insurance Industry After Recent Massachusetts High Court Foreclosure Rulings?

Posted on October 24, 2011
A recent article on Amvona shines light on the apparent reluctance of many in the title insurance industry to discuss the implications of the recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez, a ruling earlier this year by the same court in U...

Citi To Cough Up $285M To Resolve Charges In Alleged Mortgage-Backed, "Dog$#!t" Paper Peddling Racket; Some Call Settlement A Bull$#!t Deal

Posted on October 24, 2011
The New York Post reports:Citigroup really stepped in it this time. The bank was forced to shell out $285 million in a settlement linked to the sale of 2007 vintage mortgage bonds one unnamed Citi trader described as ?dogsh-t,? according to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission...

Nevada Supreme Court Orders Sanctions On Banksters For Conduct In Violation Of State Foreclosure Mediation Law

Posted on October 24, 2011
The Las Vegas Sun reports:While the constitutionality of the state's foreclosure mediation law is being challenged, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that penalties should be imposed on two lending companies that failed to follow those rules.The court said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan should determine the appropriate sanctions against Wells Fargo Bank and First American Loanstar-MERS

Loan Servicers To Think Twice About Filing Faulty Foreclosure Docs In Nevada As Potential Felony Charges Could Loom Under New State Law Now In Effect

Posted on October 24, 2011
Housing Wire reports:Many mortgage servicers stopped initiating foreclosures in Nevada because of a new law, which carried threats of criminal penalties for faulty filings.Assembly Bill 284 took effect Oct. 1, making it a felony if a mortgage servicer or trustee made false representations concerning a title...

Mass. High Court Ruling Voiding Title To Property Bought At Faulty Foreclosure Also Leaves Four Condo Homebuyers (& Their Title Insurers) Holding Bag

Posted on October 23, 2011
The following excerpts in The Boston Globe on the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez, an Ibanez follow-up case dealing with the rights of a purchaser at an invalid foreclosure sale indicates that, in addition to the foreclosure buyer (real estate developer Francis J...

California AG Begins Putting Squeeze On BofA In Probe Into Suspected Peddling Of Crappy Mortgage-Backed Securities

Posted on October 23, 2011
The Los Angeles Times reports:Investigators with the state attorney general's office have subpoenaed Bank of America Corp. in connection with the sale and marketing of troubled mortgage-backed securities to California investors, according to a person familiar with the probe...

Pennsylvania Lawsuit Says Securitization Process Waives Bankster Foreclosure Rights; Homeowner Seeks Damages Recovery, Invalidation Of Mortgage Loan

Posted on October 23, 2011
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports:The millions of mortgages that were bundled into giant investment pools and traded like stocks shouldn't be subject to foreclosure, according to an unusual lawsuit filed Wednesday.That's because when banks chose to turn mortgages into investment products, they gave up the right to take the house, attorney Luke Lucas argues...

Thousands In Central Florida Pushed Into Foreclosure Over Rampant 'Force Placed Insurance' Fraud? Homeowner Advocate: Bankster Scam Is Running Rampant

Posted on October 23, 2011
In Hernando Beach, Florida, Fox Channel 13 reports:Thousands of people in Hernando County are being forced into foreclosure because of what banks call "force placed insurance." But some homeowners and their advocates call it fraud, and they are fighting back...

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