Friday, December 5, 2008

New Scrooge of the Year candidate

Proudly presenting the next candidate for the 1st Annual award for Man o' Law's Scrooge of the Year.

You gotta admit its pretty reprehensible to take advantage of folk's in desperate financial straits who are seeking help to try to keep their houses. say what you will about these folks, that they were irresponsible, or financially inept. They didn't deserve to be fleeced by her.

Oh wait, I mean allegedly fleeced by her.

/sarc on "She is claiming to be a victim herself and was entrapped." /sarc off

Local woman is arrested in foreclosure scam
By Guillermo Contreras - Express-News

The three-bedroom, one-bath home Isaac and Christina Vela had lived in for 21 years was close to being theirs.
But then reality hit in February. They had to come up with a $15,000 balloon payment to finish paying their adjustable-rate mortgage. Foreclosure was on the horizon.
“We came into some hard times. We had to file for bankruptcy,” Isaac Vela said. “Because we were in bankruptcy, no one wanted to give us a loan.”

Then they got a flier in the mail they thought would be their salvation. It ended up putting them in a deeper hole.
The flier claimed R.D. Investments, run by Rosario Castro Divins, 54, could rescue them from foreclosure.
They said Divins told them she could use her connections to get them a loan so they could keep their home, but asked for cash, no checks.

The Velas gave Divins $6,800, but she never made a payment to the mortgage company, court records show. The real shocker for the Velas was when they learned during their bankruptcy proceedings that Divins had been warned and sanctioned by judges for misrepresentations, but continued operating for years.

The Velas now live with Christina's parents.

“We were desperate, and she buried us,” Isaac Vela said. “We lost the house. ... It wasn't a castle, but it was our home.”

On Thursday — almost 15 years after she first was put on notice over alleged fraud — FBI agents arrested Divins on charges she ran a foreclosure-rescue scam that swindled the Velas and at least three other families out of thousands of dollars and sometimes vehicles.

All lost their homes to foreclosure.

A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted Divins on four counts of mail fraud and four counts of criminal contempt for disobeying bankruptcy court orders instructing her to stop her misrepresentations. If convicted, her maximum penalty could be 20 years.