Tuesday, December 11, 2012

L.A. Man's Identity Hijacked, Used In Foreclosure Rescue Bankruptcy Scam; Petition Filed Under His Name & Used To Dump Eight Homes In Foreclosure On Opened Case

In Los Angeles, California, KPCC Radio 89.3 FM reports:

  • Software systems engineer Ajamu Azibo seems to have it all. He's young and healthy, with a great job at UCLA, a happy marriage, and dreams of owning a house someday.

    But during a coffee break on campus he recalled the day, five months ago, when everything seemed to fall apart. He'd been waiting for a call to hear whether he qualified for a new car loan.

    "I was sitting at work; I got a phone call from my car company, from the loan. And they asked me if I planned on going forward with the bankruptcy that I'd filed on June 22nd. This was completely out of the blue, I hadn't gone to the court to file, so I had no idea what they were talking about," Azibo said.

    He rushed to the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles and asked whether someone had filed for bankruptcy under his name. A clerk handed him a folder with documents containing signatures that were not his.

    The report listed that he was single and that he owned a Honda Accord, a property in San Diego and another in Carson. None of that was true. He discussed this with one of the agents at the bankruptcy court-and soon they realized that someone else had filed for him. Unfortunately, the court told him, his case is typical.

    Maureen Tighe is a federal bankruptcy court judge for the Central District of California.

    "We had a lot of people coming to court saying 'there's been a bankruptcy filed on my name, and I've never authorized the bankruptcy filing. And once you got talking to the person, they usually had some sort of a foreclosure problem. And they had consulted one of these outfits that do loan modifications, or foreclosure rescue," Tighe says.

    Azibo hadn't sought a loan modification, or a foreclosure. But he remembers meeting four years ago with a friend of a friend, a man who identified himself as a lawyer. This person suggested that Azibo could solve his money problems by filing for bankruptcy. Without thinking twice about it, he gave the man his name and Social Security number, and the rest is history. No one knows if this same man is responsible for Azibo's bogus bankruptcy filing.

    Since the summer, Azibo has become the victim of yet another scam: a bankruptcy hijacking. That's when a third party fraudulently files for a loan, or property, on behalf of someone's bankruptcy case without his or her knowledge. Turns out that somebody dumped eight different properties facing foreclosure on Azibo's open bankruptcy case. That further complicated his financial record.

No comments: