Local couple victim of mortgage fraud - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Local couple victim of mortgage fraud



In the past couple of years, we've heard about several mortgage fraud operations as part of the financial meltdown in 2007. Apparently, those frauds are still going on. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is taking California-based Meredian Financial Corporation to court for possibly cheating Minnesota homeowners out of thousands of dollars.

Marty and Patty Gloff says they had no idea they were dealing with what they say is a non-reputable company. Before they could find out, they were already out nearly $1,200.

A cozy house, tucked away on a wooden hilltop, has been Marty and Patty Gloff's retreat for the past 23 years. And when a phone call last May offered them a better rate on their adjustable rate mortgage loan, it spiked Marty's attention.

"The offered sounded good at the time, but I was, of course, on the phone and didn't have time to do any comparison."

Giving the Gloff's more time to think about was not a problem for Fortis Title Solutions, a partner with Meredian Financial Company. All Marty had to do was put roughly $1,200 on his credit card to hold the offer.

"A thousand dollars really meant a lot for a holding fee and I had never heard of a holding fee," exclaims Patty.

"I was trying to guarantee that if we had any reason that we wanted to back, that we would be able to. And what they said sounded like we could," says Marty.

You be the judge. This is the audio recording of the phone conversation between Marty and the representative collecting the payment.

"We need you guys to review it, sign it, and send it back. Once we get the signatures back, that's when everything is moving forward."

"Okay. Is that when the money is taken out of the...," asks Marty.

"It's taken out at the time of completion of this phone call, however, if we don't get it back and you cancel within the 72 hours before we lock it, then that's when everything can be refunded."

The Gloff's did not send any signatures back and the following day told them they would not go through with the offer and wanted their money returned. A year and several phone calls and emails later, they still haven't seen a penny.

The Gloffs say they hope the Attorney General's office can get their money back, but they're not counting on it. And say they just hope they can warn others from similar situations.

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