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Possible real estate scheme leads to Florida taking legal action

One Boca Raton-based land trust company was named in a judgment involving hundreds of homes across Florida. The company acquired close to 100 homes in Palm Beach County and was said to have owned more than 250 properties statewide. However, the state shut the company down in September 2012 over what the Florida attorney general stated was a foreclosure-rescue scheme.

A judgment against the firm rescinded deeds that were signed over to the firm in Palm Beach County. A suit brought by the attorney general's office in Broward County continues, however.

The scheme involved the firm telling homeowners that they could cancel the mortgages by suing the lender after the homeowner signed over the deed to them. The firm would then offer new mortgages to borrowers through another company.

The judgment on this matter stated that the firm "made false and deceptive or unfair promises and representations to consumers" and those titles were transferred without consideration while consumers were asked to pay thousands of dollars in advance fees for undeliverable services.

While deeds were signed back to the original homeowners, attorneys continued taking steps to ensure that titles were cleared. This was necessary due to an order by the attorney general freezing the assets. There was also concern that alleged scams such as this makes it difficult for other consumers who have legitimate defenses to foreclosure.

Please speak to licensed attorneys rather than firms who provide advice and options that are too good to be true. Such a circumstance indicates just how difficult and complicated real estate disputes can turn out to be. Home buyers and sellers need legitimate real estate solutions along with ethical representation concerning ownership issues

Source: The Palm Beach Post, "Clouded titles cleared in land trust case," Kimberly Miller, March 17, 2014

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