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Swindlers Exploit Foreclosure Listings

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Swindlers have been capitalizing on endless foreclosure listings to earn money from renters looking for cheaper rentals. These swindlers have studied the foreclosure system and have looked for ways to exploit the system. In Ellis County in Texas, law enforcer Mike Jones discovered one illegal renter when he passed by a large house with overgrown weeds, but with curtains and a Ford car parked in the driveway.

What the swindlers do is to keep themselves updated with foreclosure listings. When a foreclosure notice is filed in court and the homeowner does not fight the foreclosure, the scammer files the appeal. Most often, the court delays the foreclosure by 1 month, 2 months or longer. The renter then moves in after paying rent to the scammer.

According to Dallas County Prosecutor Stephanie Martin, the swindlers have studied the foreclosure system and have observed keenly how foreclosures are implemented. Investigator Andrew Masters also said some renters know the scam, but they go with it because of the low rent. When they are discovered, they just move out knowing they can easily find another cheap unit to rent with the help of the scammers. Scammers have plenty of units to work around because of numerous properties in foreclosure listings.

The case of 53-year-old Jackie Lewis, a pastor using his ministry to gain trust, illustrates the rental scam in foreclosure listings in the Dallas County. Lewis has been convicted of deception after it has been proven he collected $1,600 for a month’s rent from Gloria Harrison, who rented a foreclosed home with Lewis. It was known also in court that Lewis scammed another renter in 2007 and that he got a theft conviction in 1994. Because of this earlier record, Lewis could be sentenced to 2 to 20 years of imprisonment.

Another scammer using foreclosure listings is Morris Mosley, who has been arrested in three jurisdictions in Texas for renting foreclosed properties he does not own. Mosley is known for staging two failed bids for Lancaster mayor. He was arrested in February while he was renting out a foreclosed home.

Neighborhoods in the counties of Dallas and Ellis have put out signs on unoccupied properties warning trespassers they will be charged in court. Martin said these signs could temporarily stop scammers, but because of the continued addition of foreclosed homes into foreclosure listings, scammers and swindlers would just move around from neighborhoods to other neighborhoods.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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