Since she retired 10 years ago Emily devoted most of her time to caring for her grandson. Having paid off her mortgage on the house she hoped to leave him the valuable property some day. Her income and old age pension were adequate for her modest lifestyle, but when her best friend told her about the great real estate opportunity she just couldn’t resist the offer. All she had to do was to purchase a property and hold it for 90 days until hungry offshore buyers gulped it up, and she’d make an easy $7,000.00 just for using her credit that she never used anyways. Her friend assured her that this was a rich, successful, reputable real estate company backed by Dubai’s money. After all, she knew that real estate was the safest investment, and everyone knew that Vancouver real estate went only in one direction, and that was up, up, and up.
“The company rep” told her she didn’t have to worry about the paperwork that was whizzed through two banks. She didn’t understand how she qualified for a $125,000.00 loan without any questions asked until she later discovered that somebody had falsified documents. She received her first shock when she learned that what she assumed was the $125,000.00 down payment on a property had been channelled to parties she knew nothing about. The loan was in default, and the bank placed a lien on her house. The company rep told her there was nothing to worry about, money from Dubai was on its way, but the bank’s lawyers came after her with a vengeance. She used her savings to save the house and paid off the loan and interest due.
Her husband was going through chemotherapy when she learned that the mortgage lender bank was foreclosing on the property that she’s bought but never seen. Her first time ever in court, she cried and tried to explain that she was duped, but the bank’s lawyers showed her no mercy. The judge reprimanded her for not understanding what’s going on. The bank sold the property under its market value, and there was a shortfall of $85,000.00 on the mortgage. She never saw the company rep again. Then came into her life the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal Crown corporation.
CMHC insures mortgages, but to this date Emily doesn’t understand why CMHC has been hounding her to expropriate her house since she never had any dealings with them. The $85,000.00 shortfall has ballooned to about $300,000.00 in 4 years with compound interest and costs, and CMHC is trying to force her to sell her house to pay it. Emily went to the police, but she couldn’t get past the receptionist. The receptionist told her to get a lawyer. The law firm she retained sat on her case for two years before returning her file. They said there was a conflict of interest. Emily doesn’t understand how Canada’s justice system works.
According to lawsuits filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia Emily is only one of the victims of the same gang. Here is how the con works:
Asian immigrant communities are targeted through brokers that receive a commission when they locate suitable candidates. Victims selected are women with clean credit records and property, and little or no knowledge on how real estate and bank transactions work. Brokers provide the cultural touch and the personal assurances necessary to get the victims to sign the documents. First, a property is bought at an inflated price above market value from a vendor that is presumably associated with the gang. After the default and the inevitable foreclosure it’s auctioned off by the bank and bought below market value presumably by an associate of the same gang for more profits. The victim holds the bag. According to court records two victims have lost their houses and were bankrupted after the banks came after them.
Emily believes this was an inside job involving the two banks’ employees, and doesn’t see how it could have been done without the banks knowing what was going on.