California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Foreclosure fraud' Category

OCC restricts Wells Fargo, other banks, in mortgage servicing

June 29th, 2015 at 9:51am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau / CFPB is not the only agency after the banks for unethical mortgage practices. Now the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency / OCC has forbidden several of the biggest lenders from acquiring servicing contracts until they clean up their acts.

Read the article in RE-Insider.

Northern California real estate investor agrees to plead guilty to bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions

May 7th, 2015 at 9:50am

A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Felony charges were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against Wayne Lippman of Walnut Creek, California.  To date, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, 55 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty.

Read the press release on the US DOJ website.

Corona men arrested for foreclosure rescue fraud

April 8th, 2015 at 8:24am

Two men who allegedly ran a foreclosure rescue fraud in Ontario have been arrested, according to the Ontario Police Department.

Eliseo Delgado, 36,  and Michael Vizcarra, 24, have beencharged with several counts of theft by false pretenses and foreclosure rescue fraud. Their businesses were called CMA Debit Relief Inc. and Vision One Modifications Inc. Authorities said they charged their victims advance fees (illegal) and provided little or no services.

Read the original article in the Inland News Today.

 

Addicted to Fraud: JPMorgan Chase

March 3rd, 2015 at 12:23pm

Still not “getting the message” after being part of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with the 50 state attorneys general for allegations that it robo-signed foreclosure documents, JPMorgan Chase‘s investors are paying the piper again.

Read the full article in National Mortgage News.

Roseville residents plead guilty in loan modification scheme targeting Hispanics

February 6th, 2015 at 10:41am

Two Roseville residents each face 20 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 for operating a loan modification scam that primarily targeted distressed Hispanic homeowners (affinity fraud, ethnic fraud).

Martin Wayne Flanders, 50, and Ligia Sandoval Spafford, 48, pleaded guilty to mail fraud according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors, between 2008 and 2010, Flanders charged clients upfront/advance fees and promised to provide the victims loan modifications, mortgage loan audits, credit repair, debt relief, bankruptcy filings, and an option to sell their homes to investors, who would rent back to them and offer a later re-purchase. Victims were found by advertising in Spanish-language TV and magazines. They also had air time on the Bay Area Spanish-language Christian radio station known as Radio Luz, where Sandoval advertised the “services” she and Martin Flanders offered.

The charges in this case were numerous. Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times to learn more details.

 

Hispanics charged with targeting other Hispanics in Orange County loan modification scam

January 29th, 2015 at 3:50pm

Five people are facing charges of committing loan modification fraud by targeting Latino victims throughout Southern California. Three of the defendants are family members and are charged with leading a family-run home loan modification ring and illegally charging victims for services that they did not provide.

According to an article in the Orange County Breeze,

“Carlos Centeno is accused of owning and operating the Foreclosure Prevention Department in Irvine, and co-defendants Ricardo Centeno and Lizeth Arzate are accused of owning and operating Debt Settlers of America (DSA) in Orange, which advertised assistance for the renegotiation of home loans. The defendants are accused of advertising DSA on Hispanic radio stations throughout the state in order to target victims.

Co-defendants Hector Valdivia and Susie Rabadan are accused of being office managers and consultants at DSA. Valdivia and Rabadan are accused of knowingly assisting Carlos Centeno, Ricardo Centeno and Liz Arzate in charging and accepting illegal upfront fees from victims for services that they did not provide by collecting and processing loan modification applications.”

Prosecutors are alleging that between December 2009 and December 2012, the defendants contacted 23 victims and promised them assistance with negotiating their home loans. The defendants then charged their victims upfront fees (“advance fees”) of $2,000 to $2,500, which is illegal. They are further accused of directly collecting several victims’ monthly mortgage payments and depositing them into their personal bank accounts. As a result, many of the victims’ homes were foreclosed by the lenders.

Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 7 Measures to Protect Homeowners

December 11th, 2014 at 9:43pm

The following information is being made available, courtesy of mortgage broker Dan Dobbs. If you’re looking for a loan, you can find Dan on his website:  http://danieldobbs.org/

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing additional measures to ensure, it says, that homeowners are treated fairly by mortgage servicers.

Since the new mortgage rules went into effect on Jan. 10 2014, the CFPB has kept a close eye on making sure servicers maintain accurate records, and give troubled borrowers direct and ongoing access to servicing personnel.

This proposal follows the CFPB’s continued focus on making sure the rules are working as intended.

Here are the 7 key changes that will impact servicers:

  1. Extended borrower protection

Right now , a mortgage servicer must give the borrower certain foreclosure protections, including the right to be evaluated under the CFPB’s requirements for options to avoid foreclosure, BUT only once during the life of the loan.

Under the newly proposed rule, servicers would have to give those protections again for borrowers who have brought their loanscurrent at any time since the last loss mitigation application. 

  1. Death protection

If a borrower dies, CFPB rules currently require that servicers promptly identify and communicate with family members, heirs, or other parties, known as “successors in interest,” who have a legal interest in the home.

The proposal would expand the circumstances in which consumers would be considered successors under the rules, including when a property is transferred after a divorce, legal separation, through a family trust, between spouses, from a parent to a child or when a borrower who is a joint tenant dies.

  1. Proper notifications

Servicers must notify borrowers promptly that the loss mitigation application is complete, so that borrowers know the status of the application and their foreclosure protections.

  1. Holds servicers to timeframe

The proposal clarifies that generally a transferee servicer must comply with the loss mitigation requirements within the same timeframes that applied to the transferor servicer.

Under the current system, when mortgages are transferred from one servicer to another, borrowers who had applied to the prior servicer for loss mitigation may not know where they stand with the new servicer.

  1. Clarifies servicers’ obligations

The bureau is proposing to clarify what steps servicers and their foreclosure counsel must take to protect borrowers from a wrongful foreclosure sale.

Servicers who do not take reasonable steps to prevent the sale must dismiss a pending foreclosure action.

This aids servicers in complying with, and assist courts in applying, the dual-tracking prohibitions in foreclosure proceedings to prevent wrongful foreclosures.

  1. Delinquent advance date change

It would clarify that delinquency, for purposes of the servicing rules , begins on the day a borrower fails to make a periodic payment.

Under the proposal, when a borrower misses a payment but later makes it up, if the servicer must apply the payment to the oldest outstanding periodic payment, the date of delinquency advances.

  1. Keep borrower updated, regularly

The proposal would generally require servicers to provide periodic statements to those borrowers, with specific information tailored for bankruptcy, along with requiring servicers to provide writtenearly intervention notices to let those borrowers know about loss mitigation options.

 

Sentences Handed Out in Spanish-Language Foreclosure Fraud

December 10th, 2014 at 8:39am

Four people have been sentenced in a large-scale real estate loan modification scam operating out of Pico Rivera.

Sergeant Dana McCants of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau said that his agency’s investigation into “Safe Haven,” aka “Your Dreams Come True,” showed that the firm falsely promised distressed homeowners help in saving their homes. The company advertised on Christian Spanish radio stations (affinity fraud) and according McCants, reeled in over 500 Spanish-speaking homeowners.

Safe Haven Executive Director Alex Jurado received five years in prison, as did co-defendant Alex Canjura. Erika Perez and Oswaldo Flores each received 16 months in county jail.

Attorney Tanmay Mistry, who was associated with Safe Haven, was disbarred after being accused of 13 counts of professional misconduct. If you read the California State Bar’s notes on Mistry’s disbarment, you will learn more details about his involvement with Safe Haven.

Read the original article in the Whittier Daily News.

 

Five Real Estate Investors Indicted for Bid Rigging at Foreclosure Auctions

December 10th, 2014 at 8:20am

Five more real estate investors have been indicted on nine counts of fraud and illegally rigging bids at foreclosure auctions in Contra Costa County.

U.S. Department of Justice officials say that John Michael Galloway, Nicholas Diaz, Glenn Guillory, Thomas Joyce, and Charles Rock conspired to defraud mortgage holders and others by bid rigging at foreclosure auctions. As with other similar prosecution, the defendants are alleged to have made prior agreements to not bid against one another and to pay each other for not bidding on some of the properties that their fellow conspirators wanted.

Fifty people have already pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in related cases; another 21 have been charged in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties.

Read the original article in CBS Local.

CFPB a Target of New Republican Majority

November 10th, 2014 at 7:45am

As a result of the election, Republicans have indicated that they want to curtail the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and replace Richard Cordray, its head. If successful, this would be a huge step backwards for consumers who need the government to step-in and help when their banks and loan servicers are either unresponsive or commit fraud.

The CFPB was created in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Read the article in DSNews.

© Copyright 2007-2015 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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