Your Family

Apr 28, 2010 11:14 AM by Monica Quintero

Santa Maria family almost victim of a foreclosure scam

A Santa Maria family was almost the victim of a foreclosure scam. They said they gave a $2,500 check to 41-year-old Irma Diaz.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney has filed a multi-count felony complaint against Diaz for violating foreclosure consultant laws.

The DA said the Los Angeles area woman would obtain the power of attorney from victims whose homes were in or nearing default.

So far, two victims have been discovered but investigators believe there could be more. Maria Vasquez said, "It's really hard to explain to them what happened. It's hard Vasquez said to explain to her children. She and her husband have six. Vasquez said, "That house is where my kids grow up, it's their house."

They lost their Santa Maria house and their belongings were even thrown outside. Vasquez found it that way after coming home from church. Vasquez said, "I want my house back, my kids house." She also said Diaz told her she would help get the family out of financial trouble so their home wouldn't get foreclosed.

The DA said Diaz advertised on Spanish radio and appears to have targeted primarily the Hispanic community. But there are steps you can take so you won't become a victim of this type of scam.

Jonathan Milder, attorney, said, "Typically, if you have to pay money up front that's a warning sign." He went on to say, "Of course, you want to find somebody local if you can but that doesn't always help. Don't forget you can do a lot of this stuff that these people do yourself, if you're willing to dig in the trenches yourself."

Vasquez is now hoping some how or some way, she'll get her family's home back. Vasquez said, "My dream was I wanted to make another room for all my kids." KSBY News wants to make clear Diaz is not the reason the Vasquez's lost their home. The $2,500 check never cleared.

But the family believes she wasted precious time that could have been spent on preventing foreclosure. But again, the DA said there could be more victims out there. Diaz pled not guilty to those felony complaints.

KSBY News did contact her attorney for comment but he did not return our calls.

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