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Long Island Mortgage Scam

In March of this year, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice arrested seventeen people pursuant to a two-year investigation involving a $20 million dollar mortgage fraud scam. Homeowners of Nassau County and banks lost more than $20 million dollars pursuant to the scam.

The individuals involved were lawyers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bank employees, financial consultant, an appraiser and a United States postal worker. Twenty nine homes were fraudulently purchased during the six year period. The homes all went into foreclosure. Fake buyers and fake sellers were involved in the transactions.

Identity Theft

Celso Benalcazar, a forty-nine year old Bronx mechanic, had his identity stolen. After his identity was stolen, two homes were purchased in his name. The ring leaders of this scam were James R. Sweet and Dwanye Benjamin, both of Westbury, New York. They recruited friends and family members to obtain false identities. They then impersonated buyers and sellers. As a result of these fake transactions, they kept all of the proceeds from the mortgages. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice stated, “at the closing everything was fake except for the money that was stolen.”

One Home Purchased Twice

A home in West Hempstead was purchased twice during a two week period in 2005. A $390,000 mortgage was taken out each time the home was purchased. All the funds from both transactions were stolen.

The accused in this case faced up to twenty-five years in prison. There are numerous pending criminal charges, including violating the New York State Organized Crime Law, money laundering and conspiracy.

New York and Long Island Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are being investigated with regard to a crime, or either you or a loved one is charged with a crime, we can help you. For more than thirty years, the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel has represented individuals charged with all types of misdemeanors and felonies. We defend clients who are charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, shoplifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes and all types of violent crimes. We also represent juveniles in both the Criminal Courts and the Family Courts. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

Mortgage Delinquencies Declined

Mortgage Delinquencies DeclinedDuring the past few months, there has been a reduction in the number of mortgages becoming delinquent. In the third quarter of 2010, the mortgage delinquency rate fell from 14.42% to 13.52%, according to the Mortgage Banker’s Association.

There are several explanations for a decline in mortgage delinquency rates. One explanation is that the economy is improving and this is having a positive effect on home owners ability to make mortgage payments.

Delinquencies and Foreclosures above Normal

The good news is that mortgage delinquency rates and the number of foreclosures is starting to go down. The bad news is that mortgage foreclosure rates and mortgage delinquencies are extremely high by historical standards.

It is thought that one of the reasons why foreclosure rates are starting to decline is that the new foreclosures in 2011 are not being caused by bad bank loans. Many of the foreclosures in 2009 and 2010 were caused by banking practices that provided mortgage loans to individuals who didn’t qualify. Most of the new foreclosures are related to prime loans. These loans are much harder for banks to modify than sub-prime loans. Prime loans are given out at low interest rates to start with.

The number of home owners obtaining mortgage modifications has also been decreasing. Twenty-four thousand homeowners throughout the United States obtained mortgage modifications in October of 2010. Hopefully, we will see a continuation of the reduction of mortgages that are delinquent and foreclosure rate will continue to decline.

Queens, Nassau and Suffolk County Mortgage Modification and Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

Our office can assist you with mortgage modifications. If you are sued in foreclosure, we will aggressively represent you and stop the foreclosure in its tracks.

We litigate bad faith bank practices, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues and fraudulent mortgages. We attend foreclosure conferences in court on behalf of our clients. We also deal with problems caused by mortgage modification programs that do not work. We will analyze your financial situation to see if filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the appropriate remedy for your difficulties.

Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802 for a free consultation.

Foreclosure Defense in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick and Bellmore, New York

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We represent individuals throughout the New York Metropolitan area with divorce and child custody, personal injury, car accident, wrongful death, estate administration, nursing home and medicaid issues

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