Industry News

In-depth look at mortgage-elimination schemes

Part 1: Removing real estate loan debt

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Editor's note: Federal investigators are looking into so-called mortgage elimination programs that claim to wipe out home mortgages or other forms of debt for consumers. In this three-part series, we provide a case study of one mortgage-elimination process. Part 1 explores the methods the group's proponents use to try to convince title companies and lenders that it has successfully eliminated mortgages. Part 2 follows the group's beliefs and why they think mortgage elimination is possible. Part 3 takes an in-depth look at the group's business model. A lender in Florida last November was unconvinced by various property documents filed by a group that claims to discharge mortgages for consumers, and instead issued a foreclosure notice against the property trustees. The incident is an example of what can go wrong with mortgage-elimination programs, which have caught the attention of federal investigators. Thousands of Web sites have appeared on the Internet promoting methods to instant...