Stories from Scammed Homeowners

Real Stories

Jose Chirino

Loan scammers target more than just homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. California homeowner Jose Chirino knows that first hand. In November 2010, he received a call from New Century Solutions with an offer to do a forensic audit on his mortgage although he was current. New Century promised they could get Mr. Chirino’s lender to reduce his mortgage by hundreds of dollars. They claimed his mortgage contract was probably bad based on their experience with his lender. They also said once the errors were “uncovered” during the forensic audit, they could demand that the bank reduce his mortgage. Mr. Chirino thought the promise to get his mortgage reduced because of errors in his contract was an offer too good to refuse. He decided to let New Century Solutions conduct a forensic audit on his mortgage.

Mr. Chirino was told the New Century lawyers would work on his file. After that, he would receive information from his lender in about one month. The cost for the audit was $2,000, which he could do in easy installments. He paid the first installment of $1,000 to start the forensic audit process. He was told they found some errors on the mortgage contract. Next he paid the second installment of $500 to continue the audit. A month passed and he still hadn’t heard anything about the audit results. He called to check on the status but no one returned his calls. Something was wrong.

Mr. Chirino called his lender about the forensic audit status. To his surprise, New Century had never called the lender. In fact, his lender knew nothing about the forensic audit or any negotiations to reduce his mortgage. After talking to the lender, he made repeated calls to New Century but nothing happened. He paid $1500 and did not get what he was promised. He realized he was scammed and demanded that New Century refund his money. Despite his best efforts, New Century ignored his demand.

He needed help. He reached out to a local nonprofit, SurePath. They referred him to Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, an organization that could assist him reporting the scam and getting his money back. Working with the Fair Housing Law Project, a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Mr. Chirino submitted a demand letter that detailed his claims. After repeated communications, New Century Solutions finally issued a full refund to him in July 2011. Now Mr. Chirino wants to make sure other homeowners do not get scammed.

Jose Chirino

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