Two operators of a mortgage modification scam in California were sentenced last week to a year in jail and four years probation and must repay more than $32,000 to three dozen victims - a sum that could increase if more victims come forward.
Marianne Curtis, 69, of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Mary Alice Yraceburu, 46, of Riverside, Calif., operated a company called Foreclosure Freedom. They promised they could re-negotiate mortgages for distressed homeowners, charged $1,800 upfront and told homeowners to not contact their lenders.
Investigators found no evidence that the women negotiated any successful modifications. Many victims, who were located across the state, lost homes to foreclosure or had to file for bankruptcy. Curis and Yraceburu pleaded guilty to grand theft, conspiracy and unlawful foreclosure consulting.