PORT CHARLOTTE, Fl. - Justice for tens of thousands of homeowners duped into a clever con. Federal agents busted 530 people Tuesday for selling bogus mortgage modifications.
It's a similar scam our Call for Action investigators uncovered back in 2010. That victim says, he's still dealing with the fallout.
530 people busted after federal investigators say they scammed more than 91 thousand homeowners across the country, for a billion dollars. Targeting folks who fell behind in mortgage payments and promising to help them avoid foreclosure if they shelled out some money to make that happen.
"Just cant put a dollar amount on it, that was my happiness, my son's and my stability, that was my livelihood," says Tony Fulcher.
Fulcher knows first hand what mortgage fraud feels like. A few years ago, he walked away from his Port Charlotte house after he couldn't make the mortgage payments. He only moved back after hiring a California law firm that promised a loan modification for 4-thousand dollars.
"You know you're paid, do what you say you're going to do," he says.
Fulcher paid up and moved back only to find out days later that his mortgage company sold his house and the firm that was supposed to save it had done nothing. A scam that left him and his son homeless for nine months.
"I had a ford explorer at the time, I was sleeping in my truck," Fulcher adds.
Today, Fulcher is back on his feet, running a daycare business out of a new home. But he's still fighting to get back the thousands of dollars taken from him.
News of federal investigators taking down hundreds of mortgage scammers, while comforting, still has victims like Fulcher on high alert and local attorneys making sure other homeowners are cautious.
"If you're dealing with any type of real estate, you're going to want to have an attorney... it' good to have somebody there to dot th is and cross the t's," says David Fineman with the Dellutri Law Group.