Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crackpots Peddling Sovereign Citizen Scams To Purportedly Halt Foreclosure, Wipe Out Mortgages, Liens, Car Loans Continue Making The Rounds

In Anaheim, California, The Orange County Register reports:

  • Faced with foreclosure after falling $19,000 behind on his mortgage, an Anaheim man took matters into his own hands. Sitting at his keyboard, he tapped out an official-looking, one-page document stating that his mortgage didn't exist.

    This picture shows the aftermath of a February 2012 incident in which anti-tax activist Joseph Andrew Stack flew a private airplane into the Austin, TX offices of the IRS, killing himself and a federal employee. Stack is believed to have been tied to the sovereign citizen movement.

    "I have searched and inquired of your records and found that you have no such record," he wrote. "Therefore, I demand that you remove this recording immediately." The homeowner then took his document to the county and attempted to file it at the Orange County Clerk-Recorder's Office.

    Had he succeeded, more than $300,000 in debt would have vanished. His four-bedroom, 2.5-bath condo would be his free and clear. Instead, the county rejected his filing as "unrecordable." His property is in the early stages of the foreclosure process.

    Influenced by the "sovereign citizen" movement, the Anaheim homeowner is among a growing number of people filing liens and notices seeking to wipe out mortgages, eliminate car loans, cancel credit card debt and halt foreclosures, according to county and law enforcement officials.

    The filings are worthless, officials say. But some sovereign citizen followers charge fees for seminars or foreclosure assistance and the FBI cautions that their approach amounts to foreclosure fraud. Like other loan-modification and foreclosure-rescue scams, these operators make money by promising relief, but fail to deliver, the FBI says.

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