Poll: How much equity have you lost f...

Poll: How much equity have you lost from foreclosures?

There are 6 comments on the Contra Costa Times story from Apr 17, 2008, titled Poll: How much equity have you lost from foreclosures?. In it, Contra Costa Times reports that:

“Our values have dropped dramatically”

An auction sign lies in the groomed front yard next door to a house that is in default in the Rose Garden neighborhood of Brentwood, Calif., on Friday, April 4, 2008. via Contra Costa Times

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Contra Costa Times.

Not as much Sonia Alburez

San Ramon, CA

#1 Apr 17, 2008
Alleged real estate scammer arraigned
LIVERMORE: Woman hit with eight felony counts after duping homeowners who still wound up in foreclosure
By Sophia Kazmi
STAFF WRITER
Article Launched: 03/28/2008 03:03:14 AM PDT
One of two women accused of scamming East Bay homeowners facing foreclosure was arraigned in a Hayward courtroom on Thursday.
Verena Silva, 42, of Union City was charged with eight felony counts, ranging from first-degree burglary to attempting to defraud creditors. Superior Court Judge Gary Picetti referred Silva to the Public Defender's Office and ordered her back in court today to make her plea to the charges.
The Alameda County District Attorney's office says the scam ran deep and victims included homeowners in Concord, Pleasanton, Berkeley and San Leandro. District Attorney investigators spent six months investigating the Livermore-based Community Home Savers Program, the company for which Silva worked.
Sonia Alburez, 37, of Pleasanton, is the business owner. She is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday and faces 27 related felony charges.
Reports in court files show the district attorney believes more than 100 properties in Alameda County could be involved.
Homeowner Alan Grigas, of Oakley said Thursday that he and his wife went to the Home Savers Program after they received a letter in the mail addressed to them and marked "urgent." Facing foreclosure on their home of 20 years, they decided to work with Alburez.
"We're trying to get out of the house mess and we got a little bit desperate," he said. He said they were told to go the Contra Costa County Recorder's Office and transfer some of the property interest to some holding companies. The couple
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had already paid out $500 and Grigas said he was getting ready to pay the two women again when he read about their arrest in the Times. Grigas said he is now working with the district attorney.
"I was busting my you-know-what to pay her to save our house," he said.
According to court documents, Silva and her boss, Alburez, trolled county recorder offices for the names of owners facing foreclosure and sent them letters. The mailers would tell potential customers that their could help stall the process.
According to court records, in one case, Silva visited a San Leandro family and told them the program was put in place by the president to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes. Silva also told the family they would not have to pay mortgage or taxes for up to two years.
Victims were told to process grant deeds and to pay the Livermore company $1,500 to $2,000 upfront and a monthly fee of $1,500 to $2,000 so they could stall the foreclosure process as well as help pay down the mortgage and repair their credit, said David Lim, the prosecutor handling this case.
The women would tell clients to transfer a portion of the interest in their properties to various holding companies. They were told those companies would file a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to forestall foreclosure.
"In reality,(the companies) don't have any assets and the bankruptcy petitions were fake," Lim said.
The banks would then file motions to get back the property, and they would win because no one from the "holding companies" would show up to court and the banks would continue the foreclosure.
The victims would then would be out of a house and thousands of dollars. The district attorney's office contends the women knew that would be the result.
Lim said Silva and Alburez may have been making as much a $178,000 a month based on monthly fees and the number of properties involved.
When the San Leandro family, who paid about $4,000 in fees, found out they had lost their home anyway, they went back to the women to complain. They were given $900 back.
Not as much Sonia Alburez

San Ramon, CA

#2 Apr 17, 2008

Alleged real estate scammer arraigned
LIVERMORE: Woman hit with eight felony counts after duping homeowners who still wound up in foreclosure
By Sophia Kazmi
STAFF WRITER
Article Launched: 03/28/2008 03:03:14 AM PDT
One of two women accused of scamming East Bay homeowners facing foreclosure was arraigned in a Hayward courtroom on Thursday.
Verena Silva, 42, of Union City was charged with eight felony counts, ranging from first-degree burglary to attempting to defraud creditors. Superior Court Judge Gary Picetti referred Silva to the Public Defender's Office and ordered her back in court today to make her plea to the charges.
The Alameda County District Attorney's office says the scam ran deep and victims included homeowners in Concord, Pleasanton, Berkeley and San Leandro. District Attorney investigators spent six months investigating the Livermore-based Community Home Savers Program, the company for which Silva worked.
Sonia Alburez, 37, of Pleasanton, is the business owner. She is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday and faces 27 related felony charges.
Reports in court files show the district attorney believes more than 100 properties in Alameda County could be involved.
Homeowner Alan Grigas, of Oakley said Thursday that he and his wife went to the Home Savers Program after they received a letter in the mail addressed to them and marked "urgent." Facing foreclosure on their home of 20 years, they decided to work with Alburez.
"We're trying to get out of the house mess and we got a little bit desperate," he said. He said they were told to go the Contra Costa County Recorder's Office and transfer some of the property interest to some holding companies. The couple
----------
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----------
had already paid out $500 and Grigas said he was getting ready to pay the two women again when he read about their arrest in the Times. Grigas said he is now working with the district attorney.
"I was busting my you-know-what to pay her to save our house," he said.
According to court documents, Silva and her boss, Alburez, trolled county recorder offices for the names of owners facing foreclosure and sent them letters. The mailers would tell potential customers that their could help stall the process.
According to court records, in one case, Silva visited a San Leandro family and told them the program was put in place by the president to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes. Silva also told the family they would not have to pay mortgage or taxes for up to two years.
Victims were told to process grant deeds and to pay the Livermore company $1,500 to $2,000 upfront and a monthly fee of $1,500 to $2,000 so they could stall the foreclosure process as well as help pay down the mortgage and repair their credit, said David Lim, the prosecutor handling this case.
The women would tell clients to transfer a portion of the interest in their properties to various holding companies. They were told those companies would file a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to forestall foreclosure.
"In reality,(the companies) don't have any assets and the bankruptcy petitions were fake," Lim said.
The banks would then file motions to get back the property, and they would win because no one from the "holding companies" would show up to court and the banks would continue the foreclosure.
The victims would then would be out of a house and thousands of dollars. The district attorney's office contends the women knew that would be the result.
Lim said Silva and Alburez may have been making as much a $178,000 a month based on monthly fees and the number of properties involved.
When the San Leandro family, who paid about $4,000 in fees, found out they had lost their home anyway, they went back to the women to complain. They were given $900 back.
Food for thought

Pleasanton, CA

#3 Apr 30, 2008
I do not feel for anybody in this situation. It's sad but many people knew what they were getting into when they signed the contract. They all bought into the hype hoping to make 100-200k in a year or two then sell while only paying interest only or arm loans. Hopefully the new law requiring 20% will stick and weed out the people who can't afford a house and the investors. If you can't own a house then it's SOL for you.
Boadicaea

Hayward, CA

#4 Sep 25, 2008
Alburez' target clients were the least likely of all homeowners to know that they were being defrauded. Alburez marketed her "services" to the most vulnerable, and picked them clean. Most of the mortgages she purported to be saving with Community Homesavers were ones she'd written herself as a mortgage broker.

Since: Jan 11

Los Angeles, CA

#5 Jan 10, 2011
All the rules have changed now. Check this.... Lending banks are now being held accountable for the trap they set, borrowing money they didn't themselves have, while using loose and illegal practices in the process. The MASSIVE lawsuit against Wells Fargo / Wachovia, Indymac / OneWest bank, Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC..........can actually, not only put a stop to your foreclosure, but also pause your house payments with no loss to you..........
https://sites.google.com/site/sueyourlenderno...

Since: Jan 11

Los Angeles, CA

#6 Jan 11, 2011
All the rules have changed in the last couple of months. Lending banks are now being held accountable for the trap they set, borrowing money they didn't themselves have, while using loose and illegal practices in the process. The MASSIVE lawsuit against Wells Fargo / Wachovia, Indymac / OneWest bank, Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC..........can actually, not only put a stop to your foreclosure, but also pause your house payments with no loss to you..........
https://sites.google.com/site/sueyourlenderno...

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