BRICK, N.J. (CBS 2) — The FBI is investigating a possible scheme in New Jersey involving a company that claimed to have helped families in foreclosure, but may have been preying on them instead.
Nancy Canfield and her family were in trouble on their mortgage and were moving quickly toward foreclosure. The Canfields were then surprised by an offer from a company named JP Global that seemed too good to refuse.
“They [had] somebody that would buy our house and lease it to us for two years and then we could buy it back after we got ourselves back on track,” Nancy Canfield told CBS 2’s Alexis Christoforous.
The Canfields sold their home and didn’t receive any money, but they were able to stay in their house as renters.
The family was a bit concerned during the closing. The Canfields said the office in which the transaction took place looked temporary — there were no phones and the agents seemed nervous.
“I felt like a pit in my stomach, like I had just been had,” Canfield said.
Still, the Canfields remained in the house and started paying rent at a rate of $2,300 a month until certified letters started arriving from the bank.
The letters revealed the new owner had taken a second mortgage on the house and then disappeared. The loan went into default and the home where the couple raised their daughter went back into foreclosure.
“They are horrible, evil people preying on poor people that can’t afford it,” Canfield said.
CBS 2 was unable to reach JP Global Monday, but the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of fraud. That litigation could drag on for years.
For now, the Canfields are living in the home on borrowed time.
“They do not have title. They’re not on the mortgage. Basically they are squatters in their own home,” the Canfield’s attorney Regina Gelzer said.
The Canfields are still hoping to buy back their home and want their story to serve as a warning to others.