45-year-old Alicia Ruiz of Las Vegas was sentenced for fraud in a foreclosure rescue scheme.
Ruiz and two others operated a business known as National Prevention Center that promised to purchase foreclosed homes and sell them at their current value. Clients would pay thousands of dollars in upfront fees, but their homes were never purchased and victims were not reimbursed.
“Foreclosure rescue schemes take advantage of desperate and vulnerable homeowners who cannot afford to fall victim to scammers promising assistance,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
Ruiz was sentenced to 18-48 months in prison and must pay back five victims nearly $50,000 in restitution.
The Attorney General's Office also offered the following tips to avoid mortgage and foreclosure scams.
- Avoid paying upfront fees for foreclosure assistance
- Get any promises that are made to you in writing
- Read the fine print of any contract and understand what you are signing
- Never sign over the deed to your home unless you are selling it
- If you are at risk of foreclosure, contact your lender to try and make arrangements. If you are facing mortgage default or foreclosure, consider contacting a HUD approved counseling agency.