A woman who thought she was doing a simple refi for $50,000 and became the victim of an elaborate swindle was just dealt her final savage blow: her house is getting foreclosed on.
The scammers actually had a “straw buyer” take deed on her house and then took out a mortgage at $230,000, nearly twice what the home was worth. He also put down as his employer a non-existant Blockbuster store in New York. (Don’t you think the fact alone that it was Blockbuster should have set off some alarm bells?) They then transferred the deed back to her and gave her $50,000 from that mortgage, which she thought was the equity from her refi.
The woman was even preyed on by people calling themselves foreclosure defense lawyers. They charged her over $20,000 while routinely missing court appearances.
After 3 years in the system, it only took a “rocket docket” judge 15 minutes to review her case and rule in the bank’s favor. Neither she nor her lawyer were allowed to speak in her defense during the hearing.
A nightmarish story that illustrates the number one sign of a scammer: they call you. Never do a deal with the first guy pitching it to you. Do your research and choose your vendor based on who is best in the field for your budget.
Hellish home refinancing nears bleak conclusion [Miami Herald]