Four From South Florida Accused of Home Loan Modification Scam

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged four men the government alleges were involved in a loan modification scam.

Since the collapse of the real estate market, state and federal prosecutors have spent a good amount of their time trying to find anyone they can prosecute for mortgage fraud in Miami.

Sadly, this strategy has ensnared innocent people. And this requires an aggressive Miami Mortgage Fraud Defense Lawyer who spent years as a white collar crimes prosecutor and knows how the state and law enforcement approach these cases.

A 20-count indictment recently unsealed in Boston federal court charges four men from Florida — Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton — with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and misuse of a government seal, according to a Department of Justice press release.

According to government documents, the four men ran a Florida company called Home Owners Protection Economics Inc. They were the president, vice president, manager and telemarketer/trainer.

The indictment alleges that the company — from 2009 through May — reached out to distressed homeowners and asked them for an up-front fee of $400 to $900 in order to get loan modification services and “software licenses.”

HOPE workers allegedly told homeowners they would be able to get a loan modification under the federally backed Home Affordable Modification Program. But the government says HOPE workers told homeowners that the company was affiliated with the homeowner’s mortgage lender, that the homeowner had been approved for a modification and that they could stop making house payments while they waited for the modification to go through. They also allegedly told homeowners they would refund the up-front fee if the modification wasn’t successful.

The government alleges that HOPE sent homeowners a do-it-yourself application package that is similar to the free form provided by the government. Most of the homeowners who sent in the forms had their loan modification denied, yet the company allegedly collected more than $3 million in fees.

The president and vice president face charges of conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud, nine counts of mail fraud and one count of misuse of a government seal. The manager and telemarketer/trainer are charged with conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud and nine counts of mail fraud. Each conspiracy count and the misuse of a government seal count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. The mail and wire fraud charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

As you can see, the severity of the charges filed in federal court are cause for concern. And on top of the possible prison time, the suspects, if convicted, could be forced to pay back money to the alleged victims.

An experienced Miami mortgage fraud defense attorney can be utilized to stick up for the defendant and research all of the facts of the case in defense of the suspect. In these complex business-related allegations, an attorney must be able to access years of records as well as question alleged victims in order to find out the truth, not just the police version of it.