When the housing market hit a major wall and quickly slid downward, many struggling homeowners sought means of protecting their home ownership status while actively seeking ways to make payments lower and more manageable. One popular means of staying in one’s home during the crisis in Florida and beyond was through the option of a loan modification. However, as is the case with many ways to help homeowners, there were unscrupulous people who devised ways to defraud or rob homeowners when they were at their most vulnerable.
One man is currently facing charges for essentially bilking desperate homeowners out of thousands of dollars. The man has been arraigned and is accused of stealing from 42 victims. He is accused of taking more than $92,000 from these applicants who were under the impression that he ran a legitimate loan modification program.
The man operated a program that he called HAMP Resources. He presented the company as being affiliated with HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program), which is a legitimate loan modification program through the federal government. Officials claim he took money from people and withdrew the funds from the company account. When withdrawn, he deposited the funds in personal bank accounts, authorities say. He allegedly never provided any services with the funds given to him.
The purported scam in this case cost people a lot of money they may have needed to help them retain their homes through legal means. A legitimate loan modification program can enable homeowners to retain a lower interest rate and a lower mortgage payment. Anyone in Florida who is suffering financially and in search of a means of keeping their home may benefit from learning how to tell the difference between a legitimate program and a scam that may result in losing money rather than receiving help. Alternatively, some may be able to retain their homes by seeking bankruptcy protection.
Source: oc-breeze.com, “Man to be arraigned for defrauding over 40 victims in loan modification scheme”, , July 2, 2014