VIctim Speaks Out About Mortgage Fraud Nightmare - 8 News NOW

VIctim Speaks Out About Mortgage Fraud Nightmare

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada is among the top 10 states for having the worst mortgage fraud.

Recently, some scammers were sentenced to more than eight years in prison after taking thousands of dollars from people and offering no help.

Teresa Zermeno is one of those victims. She went to Learn Your Rights in an effort to save her home. She was willing to pay for the help.

"We gave it to him, he said he'd do a home modification; he didn't do anything," said Zermeno.

Joseph Yorkus and James Bartczak ran Learn Your Rights and took the $2,600 Zermenyo paid them to modify her home loan. Both men were arrested in February and both pled guilty to mortgage fraud.

Homeowners need to be aware of the numerous home load modification scams that include forging documents, illegal flipping of homes, applying for home loans with false information, and worse.

"Someone who has no legal title to a home that's in the process of being foreclosed, and they actually put it up for rent, there's a tenant who's thinking they're truly renting this property, they give a deposit and they bring their family in," said Adriana Escobar, deputy attorney general.

The Attorney General's office has 200 current cases of possible fraud.

"Anything that seems too easy, too quick, too simple, is not going through the normal or classic channels of how business is transacted, even though right now things are in flux, consumers really need to be very careful about that," said Escobar.

"Even if the documents look like they're real, they're photoshopping and they're doing such sophisticated work, it's even difficult for experts to tell. No one can ever guarantee anything, so if anyone is saying, we can guarantee it, be wary of that."

"I think that they should have the book thrown at them, I think that they should have to pay every single person that they screwed and more," said Zermeno.

She says banks and lenders offer help for free and that is the first place a homeowner should go. She found help at her bank.

If you think you've been the victim of a mortgage fraud, you should go through your bank or lender to look for a broker licensed by the Division of Mortgage Lending, HUD has free mortgage counseling services.

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