California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Real Estate Professionals Shut Down by AG Jerry Brown

The California Office of the Attorney General has shut down seven mortgage companies, accusing accusing a family of licensed real estate professionals of predatory lending and conning homeowners into refinancing deals that caused most to lose their homes.Attorney General Jerry Brown said his prosecutors would be seeking penalties and restitution of more than $20 million in the scam by the companies, including Lifetime Financial Inc., led by 25-year-old real estate agent Eric Pony and his sister Paulette Pony. Their mother Wilma Pony was named as a defendant in the lawsuit but not accused in the criminal case.

“As the mortgage crisis worsens, a growing number of fly-by-night companies are employing increasingly brazen tactics to push desperate homeowners into illegal and unconscionable loans,” Brown said.

“This is among the worst we’ve ever seen,” Brown said. “This is not just exaggeration and puffing. This is straight-out, deliberate stealing and fraud.”

The accused have either surrendered their real estate licenses or had them revoked by the California Department of Real Estate. Their assets – more than $6 million in properties – were frozen and their Ferraris, Mercedes Benzes and a Bentley were also seized.

Brown expects to bring both civil and criminal legal actions against other “foreclosure consultants” and mortgage lenders he has terms “unscrupulous”.

The suspects are accused of forging signatures when consumers would not sign paperwork, making false promises about favorable loan conditions and ignoring requests to cancel loans within the three-day window provided by the federal Truth in Lending Act.

Read the Full Article on the California Attorney General’s website.

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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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