Monday, June 18, 2012

Legal Non-Profit Tags Alleged Repeat Home Equity Ripoff Thief w/ Charges Of Targeting Elderly Homeowners In Bogus Home Repair/Reverse Mortgage Racket

In Chicago, Illinois, Courthouse News Service reports:

  • A recidivist, unlicensed mortgage broker and home repair contractor targeted elderly black women by draining equity from their homes through reverse mortgages and taking their money without doing repairs, three women claim in Federal Court.

  • Byrdell Walton, 85, and two other women sued Mark Diamond, his attorney Dennis Both, and a slew of mortgage, financial, title and construction companies. All three plaintiffs are elderly, black women who live on fixed incomes on the West Side of Chicago.

  • "Diamond and his companies have been sued numerous times in state and federal court by individual homeowners, the Illinois Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, and others for misconduct very similar to that which plaintiffs allege in this case," the complaint states. "Past allegations have included fraud, racial targeting, and taking money from customers to do home repairs then doing little, no, or substandard work. "Diamond has engaged in a pattern and practice of fraudulent and deceptive practices with respect to borrowers similar to the plaintiffs in this case."
  • Lead plaintiff Walton "has lived in her home for approximately 50 years," the complaint states.
  • The plaintiffs ask the court to cancel their mortgages and award punitive damages for violations of the Truth in Lending Act, fraud, racial discrimination, violation of the Fair Housing Act, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty. They are represented by Michelle Weinberg of the Legal Assistance Foundation.(1)

(1) Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income and elderly individuals in Chicago and suburban Cook County, Illinois.

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