Thursday, August 16, 2012

Senior Duped Into Belief She Obtained Reverse Mortgage Now Faces F'closure; Originator Accused Of Pocketing Loan Proceeds, Making Lulling Payments

In Louisville, Kentucky, WATE-TV Channel 6 reports:

  • A Louisville widow is due to lose her home to foreclosure in less than two weeks. She's a victim of an alleged investment fraud scheme that has possibly cost hundreds of people millions of dollars.
  • Joy [Joines] and her late husband, Kenneth, built a small home in Louisville on waterfront property in a picturesque inlet 25 years ago. Before Kenneth died of cancer in 2005, he wanted financial security for his wife. So he took out a reverse mortgage, believing it would give her income for life, along with $900 a month she receives from another retirement fund.

    For seven years, Joy received a $500 monthly payment based on the equity from her home. But this March, PNC Mortgage wrote saying Joy was behind in her mortgage payments. "I have never done anything to hurt anyone, never in my life," she said.

    She is one of many investors who lost their retirement savings, as documented in court records. It was part of an alleged investment fraud involving Knoxville-based Benchmark Capital and Louisville accounting firm J. Allen and associates. A federal indictment named Joyce Allen and an associate as part of the scheme.

    "The bank bought the contract out, but she had taken a balloon payment and stuck it in her pocket," Joy said. According to the court documents, there's no evidence that any funds sent to Benchmark were ever invested in a legitimate annuity. [...] In July, Joyce Allen pleaded not guilty to six counts of counterfeit securities and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    Foreclosure is scheduled on Thursday, August 16 for the home Joy has been fighting to keep. She says it's inevitable she's going to lose it. "I've never cried so much, and I don't want to cry anymore. I just don't," Joy said.

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