Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NJ AG Targets 39 In Suits Alleging Equity Stripping, Sale Leaseback Scams; Involved $13.5M In Bogus Loans & 48 Homeowners Screwed Out Of $3M+, Says AG

In Bergen County, New Jersey, The Star Ledger reports:

  • Forty-eight New Jersey property owners have lost more than $3 million in home equity through "foreclosure rescue" schemes operated by Vest Financial and JP Global Property Management Inc., according to civil lawsuits filed by the state Attorney General's office.

  • The lawsuits accuse the two companies, as well as 37 mortgage loan providers, mortgage industry employees, lawyers and others of violating the state's Consumer Fraud Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The state is seeking restitution for the property owners, penalties and permanent bans to keep them offering similar schemes to others.


  • [New Jersey Attorney General Anne] Milgram said the companies preyed on desperate homeowners behind on their mortgages by persuading them to sell their properties to third-party investors as part of complex "sale and lease-back" schemes. [...] Vest Financial and JP Global never followed through on their promises. Instead, Milgram said, the companies stripped the homes of their equity value through the scheme and left the homeowners with no means to pay rent and with ruined credit histories.

For more, see State accuses firms of running predatory 'foreclosure rescue' schemes.

See also: Legal Newsline: Milgram: Foreclosure rescue schemes nothing but fraud ("Milgram says the defendants used predatory foreclosure rescue schemes to convince homeowners to sign over their homes, obtained at least $13.5 million in fraudulent loans and stole at least $3 million in homeowner equity.").

From the New Jersey Attorney General's office:

Go here for criminal prosecutions of foreclosure rescue operators.

For more on equity stripping scams, generally, see DREAMS FORECLOSED: The Rampant Theft of Americans' Homes Through Equity-stripping Foreclosure 'Rescue' Scams (4.61 MB approx.).

(1) The Defendants in this lawsuit are: Vest Financial, formerly of Paramus; Metropolitan Mortgage Services, Inc., of Cliffside Park; Alex Armani of Cliffside Park; Sohrab Moussavian of Englewood; Anthony Scordo III of West Orange; Felix Nihamin, an attorney who resides in Franklin Lakes and practices in New York City; Francis A. Ciambrone, an attorney with law offices in Paramus; Rhys A. Herrmann, of Belleville; JP Global Property Management LLC of Bloomfield; Peter H. Eckhardt, Jr. of Livingston; Philip Altieri of Flemington; Kristopher Pilone of Manalapan; DBK Realty Investments LLC of Edison; Tom A. Andriopoulos of Washington Township (Bergen County); Settlement Source, LLC of Edison; Vivian M. Ruiz of Hillsdale; and Glen B. Thompson, New York City.

(2) The Defendants in this lawsuit are: JP Global Property Management; Jeremy P. Sorvino of Waldwick; Jeffrey M. Malen of Ringwood; Peter Eckhardt, Jr.; Christopher William Eckhardt of Washington Township, (Bergen County); Anthony Scordo III of West Orange; Nihamin; Michael J. Andalaft, an attorney with law offices in Cedar Grove; Capital Hill Mortgage, Inc.; Stanley Capital Mortgage Company, Inc. of Englewood Cliffs; Rhys A. Herrmann of Belleville; Brendan Joseph Flynn of Fort Lee; Maryann E. Sorvino of Ridgewood; Frances B. Benna of Elmwood Park; Vincent F. Latorre of Kenilworth; Jennifer R. Kortman of Livingston; Rebecca A. Kortman of Chatham; William McVeigh of Wharton; Mauricio V. Almeida of Colonia; and Thompson.

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