A Lot of Foreclosure Scams Yet Few Criminal Charges

by Peter Vernon on Foreclosure Crisis

According to Minnesota Homeownership Center, there have been 66,000 homes foreclosed in Minnesota for the three previous years. Most of these foreclosures have actually resulted from equity strippers who cheated homeowners with scams or toxic mortgages. According to the findings of Minnesota Public Radio, there are only a few of these scammers who were given criminal charges. Even worse, only a small number have been labeled in civil suits.

Several citizens have shared their encounters with mortgage fraudsters, predatory lenders, and equity strippers. And until now, a lot of them have not yet achieved justice.

One of the scam cases was that of Becky Benson, who lost her court case. She has been victimized by an equity stripper. She agreed with signing her house to a man who made her rent it back from $300 to $900, thrice her original monthly payment. Benson hired a lawyer to reverse the deal and sue on her behalf, but she lost the case at the district court level, as well as the appeals court level.

Numerous public and private groups chase fraudsters. One of them is Atty. Mike Freemans officed in Hennepin County. He has already charged almost 25 companies and individuals and has won some cases like that of Donald Walthall and his Universal Mortgage, which is based in Brooklyn. Walthall has been found guilty of several mortgage frauds and he is to serve a minimum of six years in jail.

There are several private groups who help foreclose homeowners in getting their money or home back through the filing of civil suits. Some of those in the list are the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Housing Preservation Project, Minneapolis Legal Aid, Volunteer Lawyers Network, Centro Legal, and lots of cooperating lawyers.

The victims of mortgage frauds, predatory lending, and equity stripping who have lost money and even their homes deserve justice. But thanks to non-profit groups who helped them get back what they have lost, these homeowners have found justice.

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