"7 on Your Side": Avoiding mortgage fraud

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - For Mineola mother, Martha McGinnis it's been months of mortgage mayhem. She is afraid of losing her home. She reached out to Apply-2-Save, a company guaranteeing to help her avoid foreclosure. Now, she's out nearly $1,000. It was a mistake she hopes no one else makes.

"We sent them our last house payment," said Martha McGinnis. "Now we are behind, and it's because of people like that."

McGinnis says her husband was laid off in January. She went on maternity leave in February, then she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Money was getting tight, and she didn't want to get behind on her mortgage.

"They have our socials, they have our DOB's, they have everything," she said.

She says she saw an ad for Idaho-based, Apply-2-Save.

"$795.00," said McGinnis.

Money back, guaranteed. The company promised to work with her lender to get a lower payment on the house. She and her husband filled out the application back in April. They transferred $800 from their savings to their checking account.

"It took them 1.5 seconds for them to get my money out of my account and it's taken me this long to try to get my money back," said McGinnis. "They had a web site. Everything seemed to be okay...and then all of a sudden, they take our money and they're no longer."

That web site is now down. All the phone numbers we tried led to phone messages saying the number had been disconnected.

McGinnis says she called her mortgage company. They had never heard from Apply-2-Save.

Kay Robinson says the Better Business Bureau made a discovery last month.

"They're shut down," said Robinson. "They closed their doors."

In the last three years, more than 200 complaints were filed. Their rating...

"'F'," said Robinson. "Can't get any worse than that. It's a terrible blow to consumers because they put their trust in a company that is not a trustful company."

"It disgusts me," said McGinnis, "because there are a lot of hard working people out there that are struggling."

McGinnis eventually filed a complaint with the Idaho Attorney General's Office. It's now filed a consumer protection lawsuit.

"From everything I've seen, it's all about their fees," said Margie Fisher, who is with Prime Lending. "Makin' the money."

She says most lenders don't want to take your home back and can normally help in situations like McGinnis's. She says some companies do actually help, but unfortunately the scammers are out there.

"They're basically preying on the fact that they are the last hope," said Fisher.

And McGinnis is determined.

"I'm going to keep going until I get my money back," said McGinnis. "That's one house payment I will be getting back."

...so her family can back on its feet.

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