March 14, 2014
Attorneys for hundreds of homeowners who filed a class-action lawsuit say a group of Prince George's businesses were responsible for a scheme that defrauded people in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.
The lawsuit says the main defendant, a mortgage company called Metropolitan Money Store of Lanham, would arrange to sell the homes of people in financial trouble to certain investors. They told the people they could stay in their homes for a year then buy them back.
But the company increased the mortgages so much after the transaction that the plaintiffs were not able to buy back their properties.
An attorney for about 20 Prince George's plaintiffs is now trying to stop their homes from going into foreclosure.
Consumer advocates say that many people who now can't afford the interest on their loans are easy targets for schemes like this.
Prince George's has been hit especially hard by the region's rising foreclosures rate.