California Real Estate Fraud Report

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3 Charged in Elder Abuse in Monterey County

Three unlicensed individuals holding themselves out as licensed real estate professionals have been charged with criminal conspiracy for perpetrating an alleged “foreclosure rescue” scam, whose victims were Salinas Valley homeowners.

Maria de Lourdes Ponce and Fabian Olivarez Casillas, and Melissa Garcia, have all been charged with criminal conspiracy. Ponce is also facing charges of residential burglary, elder abuse and grand theft. If it can be proven that they unlawfully took more than $150,000 from their victims, they could also face sentencing enhancements (additional incarceration time).

The local complaint alleges that the three suspects represented themselves as real estate loan professionals affiliated with a local lender, when in fact they were unlicensed and not affiliated with that lender. They targeted Spanish-speaking homeowners facing foreclosure and for an advance fee of $2,800, promised to help negotiate refinances of the borrowers’ homes or to lower their monthly mortgage payments.

County, though they were not licensed professionals nor affiliated with the company. The trio allegedly promised their victims, mostly Spanish-speakers in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure, that they could help negotiate lower monthly mortgage payments or refinance mortgage terms with lenders.

California Civil Code 2945.4 forbids so-called “foreclosure consultants” from taking money until their work is completed. Violations can result in 3 years incarceration for convicted offenders.

Read the Full Article in The San Jose Mercury News.

© Copyright 2007-2017 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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