Patricia Stallworth No Comments

It’s Monday and I have a question.

And, my question is this…can you finish this sentence? If it sounds too good to be true, it…and you fill in the blank. You may have read about Barbara Barkley who lost her home of 30 years due to scammers. She lost her house and her savings to a group of California scam artists who stole $11 million from thousands of struggling homeowners looking for help with their mortgages.

She got caught when a group started sending out mailers and put up Internet ads promising mortgage modifications under an Obama administration program meant to stem fallout from the housing crisis.

The program was real, but the offers were not. Homeowners were directed to send a cash “reinstatement” fee and then monthly “trial payments” for their new monthly mortgage. The money, they were told, would go to the lender. Instead, and you know the rest of the story, the conspirators pocketed the funds.

Now there were red alerts all over this scam and doing a little due diligence might have saved them a ton of money and heartbreak. At a minimum, never send money without all of the facts – verification from your lender that this is real and they are participating in the program with this specific group and that your loan has been cleared for the program, a contract of some type, information that shows their direct ties and a phone number for the government program offices so that you can verify that they are authorized to make loans. I know it’s time consuming and irritating to make these calls BUT you have a lot riding on them.

And that’s the minute for today. I love helping people with all aspects of their financial lives. If you have a question, if debt is an issue or if you just want to get your financial house in order contact me at or go to my website at and sign up for a free Discovery Session and let’s talk.

Thanks for listening and as always remember that minding your money really is the path to a richer life!