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Story of Justice: Myra*

Myra, an 86-year-old senior, migrated from Jamaica with a ninth grade high school education to create a better life for herself. She lived a tough life and as a senior citizen her only source of income was her social security benefits. As though life wasn’t hard enough, in 2018 Myra was served with a Complaint for Foreclosure based on a home equity line of credit loan in the amount of $24,783.57. This loan was a second lien and was alleged to have been taken out by Myra in 2007. She admitted to applying for the loan, but she was adamant that she never signed any mortgage or loan documents, and that she never received any loan proceeds.

Myra recalls a mortgage broker calling her at home asking if she wanted to refinance her existing mortgage to reduce her monthly payments. At the time she was 74 years old, working at a job that paid $10. The mortgage broker showed up at Myra’s house and prompted her to initial all of the documents but not to sign and date them. The “broker” promised Myra a $20,000 check on her next visit – but of course he did not deliver the check and never showed up again.

CCLA initially conducted an investigation by interviewing Myra and reviewing the mortgage documents with her. A pro se Request for Production was then prepared on Myra’s behalf, demanding the loan closing documents and information establishing the distribution of the loan proceeds. After a long grueling waiting period, discovery was sent to CCLA which showed that the loan proceeds were transferred to the title company. There was no documentation to show that the funds were ever transferred to the Myra. Something still did not add up. As the investigation continued, it was discovered that title company was owned by the “broker” who visited Myra’s house and asked her to initial the documents. Signatures were compared and the cat was out of the bag; Myra was a victim of a mortgage fraud scheme.

Thanks in large part to CCLA’s representation of Myra, the bank filed a dismissal of the mortgage foreclosure with prejudice and Myra agreed to dismiss her counterclaims against the bank along with the other counter-defendants. The bank received a settlement from the title company satisfying the loan and a Release of Lien was filed in the public records, ultimately saving Myra’s home from foreclosure.

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