If you’re in foreclosure, this is a MUST READ. I’ve been in the mortgage industry now for almost 14 years and what I’m about to tell you is 100% true. The story is about the inner workings of a “foreclosure rescue” scam artist and how he (and his team) managed to steal more than $8 million in homes and equity from desperate homeowners across the nation. I still can’t believe that I almost got sucked into this scam… but I learned a lot and hopefully you will too. (Please note: I’m not labeling all foreclosure rescue companies scam artists, but just the handful of bad apples out there causing massive damage.)
About 2 years ago I received a fax at my office from a company in California (I’ll just refer to them as “Scam Inc.” from here on in.) The purpose of the fax was to sell me on the idea of sending them all of my denied borrowers in return for a fee of $1,000 for each client they could refinance. Of course the fax caught my attention because in an average month I was in contact with about 30-50 people who wanted to purchase or refinance their homes, and about ¼ of them were either in foreclosure or very close to it and were getting denied for laons. So I called Scam Inc. and was greeted by the owner, “Mr. Thief”.
Mr. Thief explained to me that he was also in the mortgage business and that he found an investor that was willing to lend money to homeowners in foreclosure when NO ONE else would even consider it. He said that his investor was willing to charge just 7% for a fixed 30 year mortgage, with up to 95% equity level for these homeowners in need. The only catch was the closing costs would be a flat fee regardless of the loan amount. They would pay for the title fees and ALL closing costs and anything left over would be their commission. Based on my experience of brokering mortgage loans, Peer-to-peer investment I understood that the closing costs on a Sub Prime loan of were almost. It has nothing to do with the origination fees, but just with the size of the loan and the state where the home was located. Heck, title fees alone on a mortgage that size are approximately.
I also knew that the ONLY people who would lend money to homeowners in a foreclosure are called “Hard Money” lenders. It’s really the last place you want to borrow from. They will only lend if there is at least 25% equity available in the home… and they charge 13% or higher for the interest rate… and it’s a 1 year adjustable as well. So this investor sounded like heaven to me. After running the numbers several times I realized that this lender was making an average profit per loan- but not a killing, and that I would make a few dollars per loan, and that the homeowner would get a second chance with a low fixed rate and get saved from eviction- what could be better?
I was ready to start sending this company my leads when I was stopped in my tracks, and I remember it like it was yesterday; I was at home on a Wednesday night around 10:15 PM reading the Wall Street Journal as usual. There it was on the 3rd page in bold headlines: “The FBI and IRS have indicted 19 individuals for mortgage fraud related cases. The ringleader, MR. THIEF of SCAM INC. will be arraigned on etc…” You get the idea. I almost hit my head on the ceiling when I saw the headline – I literally jumped off of the sofa. I was just about in tears and thanking the Lord above that I didn’t send any of my denied clients over to that piece of garbage – for their sake & mine!