February 28, 2013 |
A Pottstown pastor was convicted Tuesday in a complicated mortgage scam in which he recruited members of the congregation to obtain $6 million in fraudulent loans from JP Morgan Chase Bank. Michael Wilkerson, pastor of New Millennium Life Restoration Fellowship; his wife, Joyce; and two others were charged in the scheme, which took place between 2006 and 2008. Michael Wilkerson, who had set up a business that "purported to be a real estate development company," would approach members who had good credit about acting as "straw purchasers" for several homes in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, and Glenmoore, Chester County, federal prosecutors said.
January 12, 2013 |
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau on Thursday unveiled its long-anticipated "qualified mortgage" regulation, designed to guarantee that home loans be given only to borrowers able to repay them. Under the new regulation, a lender must obtain and verify an applicant's financial information, including employment status, income, assets, debts, and credit history; the prospective borrower must have enough income or assets to repay the loans, and teaser rates may no longer hide the true cost of a mortgage.
May 25, 2012 |
The U.S. attorney in Philadelphia charged Michael J. Smith, of Springfield, Delaware County, with participation in mortgage fraud that caused losses of $665,000 to lenders. Smith, a former mortgage broker, allegedly participated in a conspiracy with John C. Lucidi Jr. and Eric Maratea, both of whom are charged elsewhere, in a scheme to buy properties, mostly at the Jersey Shore, at inflated prices so that buyers could receive kickbacks of tens of thousands of dollars. Smith was one of the buyers, according to the four-count indictment.
March 23, 2012
At long last, HARP 2.0 is available to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers who want to refinance but owe more on their mortgages than their houses now are worth. HARP 2.0 - HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program - is being billed as an improvement over the three-year-old version that just about everyone acknowledges didn't help anyone. The reason for that failure: The original program had limits on loan-to-value ratio, the amount of a mortgage as a percentage of the appraised value of a property.
February 17, 2012 |
Certain rules about managing money are fairly obvious, and among the most basic is this one: "Don't get in over your head. " But things that seem like a good idea at the time - buying a house, for instance - can go horribly wrong. For evidence of that, just look at the last six years of record foreclosures in this country, which can be attributed to factors as diverse as folks being duped into taking on bigger mortgages than they could afford and to the waves of layoffs announced during and after the Great Recession.
December 20, 2011 |
A Berks County judge ordered six former employees of a jailed mortgage broker to pay restitution of nearly $1.5 million to victims, mostly in Lancaster and Berks Counties, of a $28 million fraud from 2003 through September 2007. But the state Attorney General's Office, which filed the 2008 consumer-protection lawsuit against Wesley A. Snyder and his Berks County companies that resulted in this month's judgment, responded Friday with a posttrial motion asking Common Pleas Court Judge Albert A. Stallone to enter far larger judgments against the employees.
September 30, 2011 |
A former television evangelist who served prison time before starting a church in Chester County was charged Thursday by federal authorities with engaging in a $6.4 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Michael Wilkerson, 45, is pastor of the New Millennium Life Restoration Fellowship, with centers in Spring City and Phoenixville. He also owned the Agape Development Co., which said it developed real estate. According to an indictment returned Thursday, Wilkerson recruited several church members and their families to act as "straw" purchasers of houses in Schwenksville and Glenmoore.
September 29, 2011
Federal authorities charged a Montgomery County pastor and three others in an alleged $6.4 million mortgage fraud. The U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia said Thursday that Michael Wilkerson recruited at least five congregants of his New Millenium Life Restoration Fellowship, with locations in Phoenixville and Spring City, to act as straw buyers, who were paid $15,000 to participate in the scheme December 2006 to about August 2008....
August 26, 2011
In the Region Guilty plea entered in mortgage fraud John C. Lucidi Jr., a former mortgage broker for companies in West Chester and Newtown Square, pleaded guilty to a mortgage fraud that cost banks more than $7 million between May 2005 and October 2008, Zane David Memeger, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said Thursday. Lucidi, 30, of Las Vegas, allegedly found buyers for houses at inflated prices, helped them qualify for mortgages by supplying false information to lenders, and gave the buyers kickbacks at closing, typically between $30,000 and $50,000, prosecutors said.
July 15, 2011
Mortgage fraud alleged John C. Lucidi Jr., 30, of Las Vegas, who once worked in West Chester, was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday in a $7-million mortgage scheme to defraud seven financial institutions. Authorities said Lucidi, who formerly worked as a mortgage broker for companies in West Chester and Newtown Square, found buyers, some of them family members, to buy homes - primarily in North Wildwood - for inflated prices in exchange for kickbacks of between $30,000 and $50,000 at closing.