Saturday, November 5, 2011

Scam or not? Guilty or innocent? Where did all the money go?

Scam or not?     Guilty or innocent?     Where did all the money go?

I'm not sure if this is a sad story or simply a story of a man in court that was resisting the banks attempt to take his home.

I was in Court yesterday, sitting in the gallery.  They called a man up to discuss his case.   It appears his lender had the moving trucks in front of his home.  They had given him a move out order two days ago.   At first glance, it seemed simple enough.    He had fallen back on his payments and his lender was foreclosing.

But, not so fast!    He gets up at the podium and speaks to the Judge.  I don't know if anyone believed his story, but I did.   He tells the Judge that he went for a loan modification and has been paying his money to the loan modification company that was "helping" him.

What happens?   He gets a foreclosure notice or rather several.   He ignores them.   Why?   He has been paying the loan mod company.     Seems the money wasn't getting to where he thought it was.  Now the lenders moving trucks are at "his" house.   He's in court up against the Banks attorneys and it doesn't look good for him at all.

So, scam or not?     Guilty or innocent?  Where did all the money go?

I don't know.   But if the answer is scam then where the heck are the authorities in all this?   Bad enough there are some Americans that are in such financial trouble that they are becoming homeless, but if there are American's who are losing their homes due to scams then this is not acceptable and a crying disgrace.

How do we get ourselves in these situations?  We hear and read of  loan modification programs.  We hear politicians talking about them.    This gives it credability.   Well maybe there is some truth to that out there, but there are also folks who will take your money and then you lose your home.    When we are faced with extremely difficult and emotional decisions it can be easy to throw common sense to the wind.  

10 Warning Signs You Could Be Dealing with a Scammer:caution
  1. A company demands a fee in advance
  2. Offers to negotiate a loan modification for a fee.
  3. Makes unsolicited offers claiming they can help save your home.
  4. Anyone Recommending you break off contact with the lender
  5. Someone recommending you break off contact with a counselor you have been working with
  6. Anyone advising you to stop making mortgage payments.
  7. Someone telling you to send your mortgage payment to anyone other than your loan servicer.
  8. Instructs you to transfer ownership of your property.
  9. Makes verbal promises that aren’t put in writing.
  10. Asks you to sign a document that has blank lines or spaces.

This man in court today is not going to get a loan modification OR his home back.   He did get 10 more days to try and find a place to live and move his stuff out.     Not really the banks fault here, but the man fell victim to a scam.   What a shame.

If you find yourself falling behind in your mortgage, pick up the phone and call the lender as soon as possible.   Call a Realtor.   My general rule of thumb is 30 days late, don't wait.     Head this off at the pass.    Whatever you do, DO not lose your money to a Scam.   Folks, if it sounds to good to be true, it is!

I can help you with your real estate needs.   If you have any questions, please give me a call.
    Carol Ann Palmieri  508-494-9061

Carol-Ann Palmieri
Al and Cal Realty Group



  1. This makes me really sad to think someone was paying a company he thinks was helping him to save his home. What is wrong with people? Who could feel good about doing such a thing to another human being? In this day and age we should be helping one another not scamming! Although I wasn't there, it sounds like a believable story - especially if he could show proof that he was paying such a company. What an emotional rollercoaster!!!
    Thanks for pointing out the warning signs!

  2. Don't let the judge off the hook so fast,,, he could have pressured the bank to sit down and try to work out an actual loan mod for this poor soul - how about 30 days instead of 10? Shame on the judicial system too. Who would do such a thing? Plenty of Bernie Madoff's out there folks -- BEWARE! Great post Carol-Ann!