According to an article in the American Chronicle, Rosario Divins, a self-proclaimed foreclosure prevention specialist was sentenced to 350 months in a federal prison for milking homeowners out of thousands of dollars. This foreclosure scammer was also ordered to pay $83,600 in restitution to her victims and will be placed under supervision for three years after she is released from jail.
The article said:
"On June 17, 2009, a jury convicted Divins of seven counts each of criminal contempt and mail fraud. The jury found that since January 2000, Divins engaged in a fraudulent foreclosure prevention scheme. Testimony during the three-day trial revealed that Divins unjustly enriched herself by collecting over $80,000 in cash from individuals in desperate financial situations who responded to her mail out offering to stop their residential foreclosures. Divins continued to implement her scheme despite three separate sanctions from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas ordering her to stop misrepresenting herself and making false promises to her clients."
It's foreclosure scammers like Divins who do tremendous harm to families and individuals experiencing financial distress. Money spent with Divins could have gone towards legitimate foreclosure prevention efforts or even to a bankruptcy filing if necessary. Connecting with the wrong person as you fight foreclosure can not only cost you money, time and peace of mind it can cause you to lose your home to foreclosure despite your best efforts with a "foreclosure prevention specialist" or other supposed expert. It's important that homeowners looking for foreclosure advice or help, consider the following warning signs when dealing with a "foreclosure prevention specialist."
- They claim that they can guarantee that you will avoid foreclosure if only you pay (fill in the blank). This claim is false. There are no guarantees when it comes to fighting foreclosure outside of bankruptcy. Only bankruptcy can stop foreclosure immediately.
- They ask for money up front. If you give a "foreclosure prevention specialist" (aka possible scammer) your money first, before they do any work, it's very probable they will never do any work and will never return your money.
- They ask you to pay your mortgage through them. This is a huge red flag. Many foreclosure scammers use this ploy to bilk thousands of dollars out of unsuspecting homeowners. Three simple words: Don't do it.