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Orange County Women Plead Guilty to Loan Modification Fraud on 160 People

April 8, 2010

As Moreno Valley loan modification lawyers, we were pleased to read that the state of California is putting fraudulent loan modification companies out of business. The Orange County Register reported March 25 that two women face at least a year in jail for defrauding 160 homeowners who came to them for help getting their home loans modified. Mary Alice Yraceburu of Riverdale, 46, and 68-year-old Marianne Curtis of Costa Mesa pleaded guilty to 71 separate counts of crimes related to loan modification fraud. The women are accused of taking money from homeowners and then failing to try to get the loans changed.

Yraceburu and Curtis are accused of running a company called Foreclosure Freedom, which sent out fliers directly to homeowners. When callers responded, they were told that Foreclosure Freedom could negotiate a lower monthly mortgage payment in exchange for an up-front fee. They were instructed not to contact their banks directly. It is illegal in California for a non-lawyer to take an up-front fee for a loan modification. Not only were Curtis and Yraceburu not attorneys, the article said, but they had no real estate licenses or experience in the mortgage business. However, they did have felony criminal records. The guilty pleas are part of a plea bargain that reduces their sentences from up to 21 years in prison to about a year in jail. In exchange, Yraceburu and Curtis must pay back their victims $38,340.

Our Anaheim loan modification attorneys compete with fraudulent loan modification companies like these, but we do not exactly regard them as competition. Rather, we think they are a public menace that should be publicly exposed and taken to court whenever the evidence supports a criminal case. Homeowners who need loan modifications are typically at the end of their ropes, financially and emotionally. They can't afford to waste $2,000 or more on a fraud, but they are often under great stress and desperate, which makes them easy prey for fraudsters. That's why the California legislature made it illegal for non-lawyers to take up-front fees for loan modifications, and why prosecutors go after loan modification fraud so vigorously. We wish prosecutors many further successes.

Howard Law PC is an established law firm that has done business in Southern California since before the housing crisis. Our Chino Hills loan modification attorneys have clean ethics records that are publicly available from the California State Bar. We also have a record of successes in our work with loan modifications, which we would be proud to share with potential clients. Many clients come to us frustrated by bad communication and apparent mismanagement by their mortgage lenders. Even when clients have not been able to get their banks' attention, we frequently can, because banks know we can and will sue them if they trample our clients' rights. We don't always have to file a lawsuit to get a loan modified, but we can and will if the facts demand it.

If you're looking for a loan modification attorney in California who you can trust, call Howard Law. To learn more or set up a free consultation, you can reach us at 1-800-872-5925 or by sending us an email.