Homeowners in California are buying fake documents to delay foreclosures on their properties, a local paper reports.
Prosecutors in Stanislaus County, California, have cottoned on to the practice and begun cases against four homeowners. The four are accused of filing phony court documents – claiming the debt has been repaid or changing a trustee – in an attempt to stall foreclosure proceedings.
“It comes to a point where enough is enough. How many breaks can we give these people?” Jeff Mangar, a prosecutor with the district attorney’s fraud unit, told The Modesto Bee. Staff handling filings are now aware of the practice and tip off investigators.
The counterfeit court filings are available online – for a fee – from websites claiming they can tie up banks in administrative proceedings for years. A website reviewed by the Bee claims none of its 2,600 customers have made a mortgage payment in the past two years.