An Omaha mother of five opened something that was hardly a holiday gift. It was an email from federal authorities confirming she's a victim of a mortgage scam. Now the family is fighting to keep their home.
Estes family members are victims of a bad call by a loan modification company. “They've taken our money and not done anything they said they would do,” says Melissa Estes.
The family paid 1st American Law Center of Oceanside, California $3,500 to negotiate a lower monthly rate with their lender and advised Melissa to stop mortgage payments until that was done. It was bad advice because the lender never agreed and is threatening foreclosure. “I just hope and pray they will let us slowly pay so we would be able to remain in this house.”
The 1st American Law Center has been exposed by consumer advocates and busted by federal authorities. “It’s justice to know they won't be dong that to anyone else." But justice doesn't pay the mortgage.
The victims of this loan scam are now getting threatening calls from their mortgage company. Still, they don't want their children to feel victimized as well so they promise gifts will be under the Christmas tree this year.
Melissa and Fact Finders contacted the mortgage company to see if it will back off foreclosure. So far, no response, but that would be a Christmas present for the whole family. “We won't move, we're going to fight this and make sure we do everything to make sure this is our home."
The Better Business Bureau warns that anyone dealing with a loan modification offer should not stop paying their mortgage. Usually, it’s better to deal directly with the lender rather than pay a middle man who might not provide the best advice.