Essie Bates, of Roosevelt, faces eviction after being swindled in mortgage scam
A Roosevelt woman says she is facing eviction from her home after falling victim to mortgage fraud from two companies.
Essie Bates tells News 12 that she needed a mortgage loan modification for her Roosevelt home after her mortgage payment ballooned to over $3,000 a month. She tried to get it modified by The Templeton Group in Westbury and paid them $3,000 up front. The company soon folded without helping Bates much.
She says she then gave Farmingdale-based Home Affordable Direct $6,000, but had the same result. Their office is now closed.
Law enforcement officials say both Templeton Group and Home Affordable Direct are under investigation by authorities. According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, it is illegal for a company to charge an upfront fee for mortgage-related services.
Carol Yopp, from the Long Island Housing Partnership, says if a homeowner is in financial trouble, there is no need to pay a for-profit company to help.
"They are taking money from people who can't afford to pay them," said Yopp.
Her organization and others on Long Island offer free counseling and mortgage services to those in need.
Bates says she's hoping for a miracle after all the false promises she says the companies gave her.
"I just wonder how they can sleep at night," she told News 12.