A Des Moines couple is going public with their story of being taken in a "home foreclosure rescue scam." Dan and Patricia Potter say they hope other Iowans will learn from their experience and avoid a similar fate. Dan says they were at risk of losing their home to foreclosure and called a company that promised to help them save their house.
"It sounded like a terrific thing," Potter said, "all we had to do was provide them with 795 dollars and they would contact our mortgager and get us on a fixed mortgage." The couple originally had an adjustable rate mortgage. Potter says the company they called was listed as Foreclosure Assistance Incorporated in Arizona.
"They didn’t do anything. With us not contacting our mortgager…they proceed to foreclosure," Potter said. The couple spoke at a press conference Friday with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. Miller is proposing legislation that would ban companies from requiring up-front fees for services.
"In so many of the consumer frauds that we deal with, they’re all contingent on getting paid up front. Then they don’t do what they promised and run off with the money," Miller said. After contacting the Attorney General’s office, Potter and his wife were able to retrieve half of their money taken in the scam. The Potters also refinanced their mortgage, avoided foreclosure and are still in their home.
"People can get their mortgage’s fixed," Potter said. "The worst thing that they can do is not talk to their mortgage company." Miller is asking the legislature to enact a number of measures that he says would protect Iowa home owners against mortgage lending fraud.