Friday, August 6, 2010

Oregon Homeowner Gets Clipped Out Of $3K For Bogus Loan Modification By California Outfit Owned By Now-Disbarred Attorney

In White City, Oregon, the Mail Tribune reports:

  • Saul Cervantes thought he was making a smart financial move by accepting the services of a company claiming it would help him negotiate with his bank to lower his monthly mortgage payment. Instead, Cervantes was bilked out of $3,000 in a mortgage scam that has struck a handful of Southern Oregon households, according to Larry Kahn, the executive director of Help Now! Advocacy Center based in Medford. [...] Cervantes received a letter from a California-based company called Ideal Real Estate Solutions promising it would do the leg work required to qualify for government programs meant to help people with troubled mortgages.


  • Out of desperation, Cervantes called Help Now! volunteers, who work with attorneys across the state to fight predatory lenders. It is illegal in Oregon to charge an up-front fee for loan modification.

  • Help Now! contacted the California attorney who owned the company. They soon learned that the California Bar Association had word on owner Brian Columbana's practices. He has since been disbarred. Help Now! added Cervantes' name to an Oregon Department of Justice complaint with several other mortgage scam victims allegedly targeted by Columbana.

For the story, see Mortgage-payment scam trips up owner.

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