Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Samantha Hayes reporting A warning for consumers: A slick sounding sales- pitch has taken dozens of Utahns down a road of financial ruin.
The scam, operating nationwide, promises to eliminate your mortgage payments. Investigators say it sounds too good to be true, because it is.
Dozens of Utahns have signed on with the Dorean group, a group which claims to eliminate home mortgages.
But state investigators say don't believe what they say: People are losing their money and their homes.
..."We will begin with the notice of trustee sale in its entirety."
The original owner of a West Valley City home thought it was paid for free and clear, at least that's what the Dorean group told him.
Now it belongs to someone else.
David Kenney, Home investors: “The first mortgage company is selling its positions. They were owed $108,108 dollars. It went to sale and I was the highest bidder."
The idea seems preposterous: How could mortgage debt truly be wiped out without paying it off? The California-based Dorean group claims its true.
Scott Heineman/Dorean Group Trustee: "I believe banks misrepresent the facts of the contracts. The people going in thinking they are borrowing are not actually borrowers but they are the creditors."
State investigators say first, the homeowner pays the Dorean group three thousand dollars to become the trustee of his property. The Dorean group then files a complaint with the lender challenging the loan.
Joe Christensen, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: “It says the loan you put on this property is illegal because its not backed by gold."
The sales pitch is laced with claims that paper money, and mortgage loans, aren't really legal instruments. The lenders generally don't respond, not taking the claims seriously.
Then, the Dorean Group goes to court, files a power of attorney, and claims the loan has been paid off, and then, cashes out whatever equity the homeowner had built up.
Problem is, the bank still wants its money, and is forced to foreclose on the property.
Joe Christensen, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: “We also want to alert all the consumers in Utah not to fall for this scam, they are going to lose their money and possibly their home."
The state says it is preparing to file forgery charges against the Dorean group. Other states and the FBI are also investigating.