Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bank of America

Bank of America has agreed to pay $335 million, yes a third of a billion dollars, to settle claims that its Countrywide unit engaged in systematic discrimination. It is alleged that Countrywide steered minority customers to subprime loan products based only on their minority status. This resulted in much higher costs and interest rates than Countrywide's non-minority customers enjoyed. How can something like this even happen in the 21st century?

Engelmann sentencing date set

Sentencing for Marc Engelmann, the Davenport real estate attorney found guilty on nine counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy, has been set for January 20, 2012.

Two attorneys sentenced in Mississippi

Charles H. Evans, Jr., of Jackson, Mississippi was sentenced on December 19, 2011 to serve 20 years
in federal prison. Brother and co-conspirator, Jon Christopher Evans, also of Jackson, was
sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The Evans brothers ran what was billed as the largest real estate Ponzi scheme in Mississippi history. They would purchase tracts of vacant land, and then subdivide and resubdivide, obtaining mortgages on real and fictitious pieces of real estate. Charles prepared title opinions and certificates of title on the fictitious land to perpetuate the fraud. They would get new mortgages to service the debt on the old mortgages, as well as put some in their pockets. Their fraud has involved eighty million dollars in loans, fifty lending institutions, and thirty shell corporations they created to hide their activities. All this in only six years.

Charles and Jon will be 77 and 67, respectively, when they reenter society.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Engelmann update II

Marc Engelmann's motion for a new trial, discussed here, was denied. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2012.

Mary Pat Harper sentenced

Mary Pat Harper, the real estate agent for Darryl Hanneken and Robert Herdrich, has been sentenced to two years in prison, $185,000 restitution, and three years of probation. Ms. Harper asked the judge to allow her to withdraw her guilty plea, which he declined to do. Even if the judge had allowed her to withdraw her guilty plea, I cannot see how it would have helped her much. In her written guilty plea, she admitted to all of the elements of the crime. She assisted Hanneken and Herdrich in a scheme to defraud lenders by fraudulently inflating the purchase price of investment properties, and then having the sellers of the properties kick back the extra money under the table to the Hanneken and Herdrich. This scheme involved approximately 40 properties in northwest Davenport, Iowa.

Marc Engelmann, the Davenport real estate attorney who was involved in nine of these transactions, and who was found guilty of nine counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy in September, is still awaiting sentencing. Strangely, even though he is a convicted felon as of September, he is still licensed to practice law in Illinois and Iowa.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


That's right--do it yourself. Apparently, with all of programs which are supposed to become available to help homeowners, the scamsters are ready to take your money. They offer to get you a better interest rate, negotiate with your current lender, etc., etc.

You do not need to pay a third party to get a new mortgage. Contact a reputable local lenders directly