Scottsdale Mortgage-Relief Firm Hit with $29 Million Judgment in Loan-Modification Scam

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bustathief.com
Bryan Prehoda and Luis Belevan were running a pretty unsuccessful Scottsdale-based mortgage-relief service -- so unsuccessful, in fact, as to constitute fraud and a judgment against them for almost $29 million.

 

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge entered the default judgment this week, ordering Prehoda and Belevan to reimburse fees and a civil award to 2,495 people who went to the men's company -- Guardian Group -- to reduce the principal amount of their mortgage loan.

Guardian Group claimed it would negotiate with lenders to buy a homeowner's mortgage note way below face value, and then turn around and sell it to a third-party investor.

For the price of $1,595, Guardian Group would reduce the loan principal to 90 percent of a home's current market value -- we say "would" because those third-party investors never really existed.

Out of the 2,500 people paid the up-front fee of $1,595, only five managed to receive a new mortgage note at 90 percent of their old loans.

After collecting nearly $4 million from hopeful homeowners, Guardian Group was shut down by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions in May when it was discovered that the firm was never actually a licensed mortgage broker.

Then hundreds of complaints from homeowners swindled by Guardian Group began to roll in, and the Arizona Attorney General's Office filed suit.

Now Prehoda and Belevan are ordered to repay the $1,595 fee to each of the 2,495 customers, in addition to the maximum civil penalty of $10,000 per client, bringing their total payment to just under $29 million.

In a statement from the AG's office, Robert Charlton, assistant superintendent of the  Financial Institutions department, says loan modification scams "have plagued our communities in recent months," and Arizona consumers "can least afford this type of predatory activity."

The AG's office asks anyone who's been charged an up-front fee for mortgage-relief services or thinks they've been a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam to contact it.


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22 comments
Porsha Meeks
Porsha Meeks

wow this is crazy that i see this because i was one of the employees who never got paid and was given bad checks from the owner who goes by the name of "John Common"....omg we didnt even get a lunch break and work eight hours straight......I felt so  bad for the ppl who call saying that it had been mths and they have not heard nothing.....employees asking whats going on and we were being threating our jobs if we asked again. processors losing their places in hopes for a paycheck....what about us????

Photog9
Photog9

I didn't see a mention of all the employees who lost there jobs without being paid for their time.

pension loan
pension loan

 its a nice blog. i must appreciate your thoughts.

Cheryl
Cheryl

What about the loss of our houses?Why can they sell there's for $10.00 to someone during the law suit(relative I'm sure)? Now we can not buy a home. What about the interest? What about my money? I was the 2nd one to put in a complaint with the Attorney General's office and I was on channel 5. I now have no where to live and lost my job due to stress. How can I sue them with no money to get damages from the stress they caused me? "I NEED HELP" from someone who has GOOD news for me. No scams. I have had enough scams to last me a life time

linbo4
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ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Silly rabbits - you know that if something sounds too good to be true it usually is. It's all I can do to keep my friends from falling from internet scams.

Markjacobs2010
Markjacobs2010

this person never worked for the company.  also every employee got paid until the last two weeks and they were told they might not get paid if they stayed.  also they were allowed breaks they just had to clock in and out.  liar.

Steven Jones
Steven Jones

How about you try that again in proper English 

Markjacobs2010
Markjacobs2010

cheryl is a lying bitch.  she got 1295 refunded to her and she had already moved out of her two months prior.  she is a crack head whore.

Cheryl
Cheryl

They had convinced high up people they were legit. My resource was my insurance agent. Why would he want to loose my policy that he had for over 10 years? You have no idea how convincing they are?

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