Tuesday, May 17, 2016

No Charges Yet In Year-Long Probe Into Phoenix-Area Land Contract/Contract For Deed Racket As Victim List Now Includes 25 Families; Unsophisticated, Non-English-Speaking Homebuyers Paid Downpayments & Monthly Payments To Seller But Lost Homes To Foreclosure Anyway Due To Seller's Non-Payment Of Undisclosed Liens

In Phoenix, Arizona, KNXV-TV Channel 15 reports:
  • The wheels of justice are turning too slowly for families who say they were duped out of their homes by a Valley business.

    Now they're banding together hoping to push the case forward.

    When the Attorney General's Office started investigating Montecristo Properties nearly a year ago there were five listed victims.(1)

    Twenty five have now come forward hoping their collective stories will help make the case stronger.

    The victims say they bought new homes, made the mortgage payments, but received foreclosure notices because their money never made it to the bank.

    “You feel so violated when you have to get up and leave," said one victim named Ana.

    In some cases, the company didn't even own the homes it was selling but the victims didn’t know that.

    They all say the financial loss was crippling but the emotional toll is even greater. "I’ve lost a good part of my dreams, my hopes," said Ana.

    "We're all frustrated because Francisco is free while all of us have suffered tremendous damage," said Silvia Gallo, one of the original complainants referring to the company’s owner Francisco Aguirre.

    There still have been no arrests. The AG's office says it expects a case update soon.
Source: 25 victims listed in homeowner fraud investigation; group banding together to push case forward.
(1) See Valley homeowners say they're victims of fraud; AG's office investigating Montecristo Properties LLC:
  • The Arizona Attorney General's Office is investigating Phoenix real estate company Montecristo Properties, LLC for selling people homes without telling them loans had been taken out against the properties.

    Court documents show Montecristo defaulted on those loans resulting in foreclosure notices for people who thought they had been paying off their homes.

    At least five people are listed in the investigation and the AG's office says there could be dozens more. Court documents also show all of the victims are Spanish speaking and many trusted company managers to translate the sale contracts.
    Aguirre does have a felony criminal record after a 2008 plea deal for sale of unregistered securities which came with a 2.5-year prison sentence.