The FBI, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, earlier this month raided a Union City, Calif., office used by promoters of a national mortgage-elimination scheme, Inman News sources confirmed.

Agents seized documents and also seized bank accounts connected with the office, which is associated with The Dorean Group mortgage-elimination process, sources said. No arrests were reported. An FBI spokeswoman in San Francisco did not offer any statement about the Feb. 1 search of the group’s Union City office.

Inman News reported last month on The Dorean Group’s methods for purporting to eliminate mortgage debt.

Affiliates of The Dorean Group have promoted a process that charges thousands of dollars in up-front fees in exchange for services that purport to discharge home mortgages through creative paperwork and legal challenges. Real estate industry organizations and several Better Business Bureau offices have issued alerts to warn about such programs.

Some Dorean clients have ended up in foreclosure processes, and industry experts say that official-looking paperwork that is typically associated with mortgage-elimination programs can cloud property titles and lead to financial and legal problems.

What’s your opinion of mortgage-elimination programs? Take a survey.

Dale Scott Heineman and Kurt F. Johnson are reportedly principals of the so-called mortgage-elimination program. The city of Union City, Calif., has no business license information for The Dorean Group, and the California Secretary of State’s office also has no business information about The Dorean Group.

Inman News last month reported there are several Web sites that promote The Dorean Group process, and there are several names associated with the group, among them: Capital Creation Resource, DTE Financial, Homeward Bound and Oxford Trust.

There are other groups, too, that have offered similar programs that claim to offer freedom from mortgage payments in exchange for up-front money. Redwood Trust, a mortgage-elimination and debt-elimination promoter in New Jersey, is also the subject of a federal investigation.

Such schemes are not limited to home mortgages – there are promoters who claim to offer processes through which consumers can quickly erase car loans and credit debt, among other financial problems.

FBI and Better Business Bureau officials urge consumers to beware of any financial offer that appears too good to be true, and to report suspicious businesses to local law enforcement agencies or consumer groups.

A posting at an Internet discussion board stated that the Union City offices of The Dorean Group were raided on Feb. 1. “Almost all of our files were seized,” states the posting, which reportedly contained the text of a notice sent by The Dorean Group to its clients.

“The raid is proof that the banking industry views us as an increasingly strong and widespread threat to expose their continued fraudulent practices,” the posting also states. “Our files are required to be returned to us within 30 days. We are also proceeding on a number of other fronts to challenge the authority of the FBI and the federal courts to disrupt our legitimate business.”

Several Web sites associated with The Dorean Group process contain statements that question the integrity and validity of the U.S. banking system and claim that the mortgage-elimination process is legal, moral and ethical.

Read the special three-part Inman News report about mortgage-elimination groups: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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