NJ sues mortgage companies

October 20, 2008 3:46:45 PM PDT
Homeowners in New Jersey facing foreclosure may have been sucked into more trouble. Dozens of homeowners in 14 counties were trying to get help.

Instead, they found themselves the victim of what the state calls predatory "foreclosure rescue" schemes crafted by mortgage lenders.

Now, the state wants those lenders to pay.

"These defendants promised to help people facing foreclosure to keep their homes and instead lead them to mountainous debt while lining their own pockets," said New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.

The state of New Jersey is suing 37 mortgage loan providers,employees and lawyers from North Jersey with racketeering and civil fraud.

The attorney general says those people schemed to obtain more than $13 million in fradulent loans and stole more than $3 million worth of equity from homeowners all over the state, including victims in Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Gloucester, Mercer and Ocean counties.

"People feel so much shame about facing foreclosure and the prospet of losing their homes that they can fall prey to this kind of scam," said Deputy Attorney General Megan Lewis.

Under the guise of providing forclosure rescue, the state says the defendants, working together, would convince desperate homeowners to sell their homes to a third party, and that they would receive the equity built up in the house. They'd then be able to live in the house, pay rent while cleaning up their credit, and buy it back.

But that didn't happen.

Rents were jacked up higher than the old mortgages, homeowners were cheated out of money they were owed, and some wound up evicted anyway.

"Having placed their hope and trust in the defendants, the victims ended up more destitute than before, accepting the offer of foreclosure rescue," Milgram said.

The New Jersey Attorney General's officer released the names of the defendants in the case. They are listed below:

Milgram v. Vest Financial, L.L.C

Defendants other than Vest Financial named in the lawsuit, all but one of them from New Jersey, include:

Metropolitan Mortgage Services, Inc., of Cliffside Park
Alex Armani of Cliffside Park
Sohrab Moussavian of Englewood
Anthony Scordo III of West Orange
Felix Nihamin, an attorney who resides in Franklin Lakes and practices in New York City
Francis A. Ciambrone, an attorney with law offices in Paramus
Rhys A. Herrmann, of Belleville
JP Global Property Management LLC of Bloomfield
Peter H. Eckhardt, Jr. of Livingston
Philip Altieri of Flemington
Kristopher Pilone of Manalapan
DBK Realty Investments LLC of Edison
Tom A. Andriopoulos of Washington Township (Bergen County)
Settlement Source, LLC of Edison
Vivian M. Ruiz of Hillsdale
Glen B. Thompson, New York City

Milgram v. JP Global Property Management, Inc.:

Defendants other than JP Global Property Management named in the lawsuit, all but one of them from New Jersey, include:

Jeremy P. Sorvino of Waldwick
Jeffrey M. Malen of Ringwood
Peter H. Eckhardt, Jr. of Livingston
Christopher William Eckhardt of Washington Township, (Bergen County)
Anthony Scordo III of West Orange
Felix Nihamin, an attorney who resides in Franklin Lakes and practices in New York City
Michael J. Andalaft, an attorney with law offices in Cedar Grove
Capital Hill Mortgage, Inc.
Stanley Capital Mortgage Company, Inc. of Englewood Cliffs
Rhys A. Herrmann of Belleville
Brendan Joseph Flynn of Fort Lee
Maryann E. Sorvino of Ridgewood
Frances B. Benna of Elmwood Park
Vincent F. Latorre of Kenilworth
Jennifer R. Kortman of Livingston
Rebecca A. Kortman of Chatham
William McVeigh of Wharton
Mauricio V. Almeida of Colonia
Glenn B. Thompson of New York City

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