Arrest made in Central Valley foreclosure scheme
November 21, 2011
• Homeowners thought they were being ‘rescued’
• ‘Foreclosure rescue schemes target homeowners when they are most vulnerable
John Marcus Desenberg, 44, formerly of Newbury Park, has been arrested by FBI agents in Southern California on a ten-count federal indictment alleging mail fraud on connection with a Central Valley foreclosure scheme.
According to the indictment, Mr. Desenberg was purportedly in the business of rescuing homeowners from foreclosure in Merced and Placer couties.
Doing business as Creative Lending Solutions, Mr. Desenberg offered homeowners a “Fresh Start” program that would find an investor to purchase homes from distressed homeowners, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.
Some of the proceeds of the sale would be used to make mortgage payments for the next 12 months and the property owners were allowed to stay in the homes and work on repairing their credit so that at the end of the period, they could obtain new mortgages and purchase their homes back from the investors.
But. according to the indictment, Mr. Desenberg ;oed when he said that he would be monitoring the situation for the next 12 months, and that he would ensure the investor made the mortgage payments. In fact, says the grand jury, he did not monitor the 12-month credit-repair period, nor did he ensure the mortgage payments were being made.
Eventually homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, with more than $300,000 in equity lost.
“Mortgage fraud schemes victimize homeowners, not just mortgage lenders. Foreclosure rescue schemes target homeowners when they are most vulnerable — when they are in fear of losing their homes,” says Mr. Wagner.
If convicted, Mr. Desenberg faces a maximum statutory penalty for each count of mail fraud of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release following incarceration.