California Man Pleads Guilty In Foreclosure Rescue Scheme

A California man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a foreclosure rescue scam that took at least $5 million from distressed homeowners. Sergio Lorenzo Rodriguez admitted to one count of wire fraud, according to the Department of Justice. This offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.  Rodriguez and an unnamed person owned and/or managed a series of mortgage modification companies, through which they used deceptive marketing practices to defraud homeowners facing foreclosure. They executed this scheme between mid-2015 and August 2020. Through tactics such as falsely claiming homeowners had been pre-approved by their lender for a modification and…

Victims Of Mortgage Ponzi Scheme Can Seek Compensation

By KIMBERLEY HAAS People who were victimized by what investigators have called the biggest Ponzi scheme in New Hampshire history can apply for compensation. In a news release, officials from the state’s Department of Justice announced that victims of Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc., and CL&M, Inc., can start filing applications to seek compensation from the FRM Victims’ Contribution Recovery Fund. People can submit an application either by printing, filling out, and mailing the paper version or by completing and sending the electronic version. The application deadline is May 18. After Financial Resources Mortgage collapsed in 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Scott Farah of Meredith, NH, and Donald Dodge of Belmont, NH, claiming they operated a fraudulent Ponzi…

Morning Roundup (1/10/2022)– UWM In-Office Fight Continues, Fraud Costs Rising

Good Morning! Today is Monday, January 10. A fire in a Bronx apartment building killed at least nineteen people. Russian forces have surrounded Ukraine on three sides as diplomats meet in Geneva for talks. “Power of the Dog” and “Succession” won top honors at the Golden Globes, which did not air this year due to criticism over ethical lapses and a lack of diversity. And in mortgage and housing news… Are UWM Workers Being Unreasonable?: United Wholesale Mortgage turned heads in the industry last week when it was reported that health officials are investigating the company after receiving complaints about how they are handling COVID, which lead some people to ask why employees in lending are expected to be in…

Mortgage Fraud Rose To Pre-Pandemic Levels In Q2

Mortgage fraud rose 37.2% year-over-year (YOY) through Q2, reaching pre-pandemic levels, according to CoreLogic’s latest Mortgage Fraud Report.  The increases are artificially high given the significant drop in fraud during 2020, which was driven by jumps in traditionally low-risk refinances. The current level mimics mid-2019. “Refinance opportunities that surged lending volumes during the pandemic may be winding down. The outlook is for fewer low-risk refinances compared to purchases and cash-out refinances, which translates to a higher-risk environment for fraud,” said Ann Regan, executive, product management at CoreLogic. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, increasing interest rates have hampered refinance activity, with applications spiraling to their lowest point since January 2020. Purchase applications have picked up slightly. About 0.83% of all…