Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sacramento-Area Foreclosure Rescue Operator Gets 18 Years For Running Racket That Used Recorded Forged Documents, Abused Bankruptcy Process To Stall Foreclosures While Pocketing Monthly Payments From Unwitting Homeowners & Stiffing Mortgage Holders

From the Office of the Sacramento County, California District Attorney:
  • The Honorable Marjorie Koller sentenced 52-year-old Richard Henri Fecteau to 18 years in state prison. On April 22, 2016, a jury convicted Fecteau of 23 felony real estate fraud charges involving grand theft, recording false documents, and illegally acting as a foreclosure consultant.

    Between 2011 and 2014, Fecteau ran a foreclosure rescue company called Team Fecteau. He directed homeowners to deed properties to a trust. The names of people who had recently filed bankruptcy were then named co-trustees of the trust, along with Fecteau himself, which placed an automatic stay against foreclosure of the property.

    Fecteau would often tell the homeowners not to have further contact with the banks or lenders as he would handle all further negotiations regarding their mortgages. Homeowners were also directed not to pay their mortgages and make monthly payments to Fecteau for his service.

    After the homeowners signed the first deed to Fecteau, he or his employees would then file additional grant deeds using the same scheme of adding names of people in bankruptcy to the deeds. There was no intent to transfer any interest in the property to these individuals as their names were removed as trustee each time a new deed was recorded. Fecteau did not negotiate with lenders to take any action towards saving the homes of his unsuspecting clients. He continued this scam with some of the homeowners for several years.

    Once the scheme was no longer effective and most of Fecteau’s clients lost their homes to foreclosure, Fecteau would then employ another scam to illegally obtain money from the properties. Fecteau and an employee filed false mechanic liens against those same properties hoping the foreclosing lenders would settle the liens when they resold the properties.

    Fecteau was ordered to pay more than $35,000 in restitution to multiple victims he defrauded.

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