This rural home is at the heart of a mortgage fraud scandal that left a family homeless and landed one man behind bars.
Dan Taylor, US Postal Inspector, explained, “Jay Dunlap ran a mortgage company that specialized in dealing with people that had poor credit.”
In fact, many of his clients had been denied real estate loans in the past. Postal inspectors say he used this to his advantage.
“He was generally contacting people that were desperate for whatever they could get to try and save their homes," said Taylor.
His offer to clients: he would buy their house from them for a year. They would essentially pay him rent.
“After a year they would be able to buy the house back and then have better credit and qualify for a regular loan," Taylor said.
But once Dunlap took posession of the house, he took out several equity loans.
“Dunlap took these loans against the property in the belief that the victims would never come up with the cash to try to repurchase the home," Taylor explained.
But in this case – victims tried to buy their homes back and quickly realized...
“He took their money, deposited it, spent it but never actually transferred the title back to the victims," Taylor continued.
Dunlap stopped paying on the equity loans. Banks foreclosed on the property.
“Ultimately the victims were foreclosed on and had to move out of the house," said Taylor.
Postal inspectors say it is possible more victims exist. They also warn anyone seeking a mortgage to do your research carefully.
“Be very careful who you are dealing with… check references, check licensing, things along those lines," Taylor warned.
Jay Dunlap was sentenced to five years in prison on bank and wire fraud. He was also ordered to pay almost $350,000 in restitution.
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