LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Texas Attorney General says two Lubbock mortgage companies ran a scheme to defraud property owners.
Attorney General Greg Abbott says Enhance Mortgage Corp. and Templeton Mortgage Company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices act. He says they defrauded former property owners who had owner-financed mortgages, and who lacked real estate knowledge.
In an owner-financed mortgage, the seller agrees to get mortgage payments from the buyer over time. According to the lawsuit filed by the state, Enhanced and Templeton offered former property owners cash in exchange for their owner-financed mortgages; and therefore the right to receive monthly mortgage payments.
State investigators think the companies specifically targeted retirement-aged people because they were more likely to be enticed by the promise of cash instead of a 20 to 30 year payment plan. At one point, Enhanced and Templeton had as many as 75 lawsuits on file in the Lubbock County District Court.
In addition to restitution for the victims, the state is seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 for each violation of Texas law.
Attorney General Abbott Takes Enforcement Action Against Lubbock Mortgage Firms
Enhance Mortgage Corp. and its affiliate, Templeton Mortgage Co. deceived former property owners in mortgage-purchase scheme
LUBBOCK – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is charging two Lubbock mortgage companies and their owners with orchestrating a complex scheme to defraud Texas property owners. The State's enforcement action names Enhance Mortgage Corp. and Templeton Mortgage Co. Inc. as defendants and charges both with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
According to state investigators, the defendants contacted former property owners who lacked knowledge about real estate transactions and offered to buy their owner-financed mortgages. Court documents indicate the defendants would offer to pay landowners up-front cash in exchange for their owner-financed mortgages—and therefore the right to receive monthly mortgage payments. Some of the former property owners were retirement-aged. State investigators believe they were targeted because they were likely to be enticed by the promise of up-front cash rather than a 20 to 30-year payment stream.