Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Foreclosure Sharks in Puget Sound--Updated

In an unpublished decision entered yesterday, the Washington State Court of Appeals reviewed a trial court's decision and concurred that defendants:

Dick and Cecilia Pelascini;
Thomas Boboth; and
Pacific Shoreline Mortgage, Inc.

had violated the Consumer Protection Act.

Per the court's decision, they took advantage of a long-time homeowner who had fallen on hard times and was facing foreclosure and convinced her that they were helping her "save" her home by setting up refinancing when in fact they bought it out from under her for far less than what they would have paid via a public trustee's sale.

After signing the paperwork the "homeowner" (plaintiff) was allowed to stay put until the Pelascinis later decided to sell the home.

Then they evicted her.

From the decision:

The Pelascinis' argument rests on the false premise that they "did help plaintiff save her house." The trial court found that Pace-Knapp reasonably interpreted the Pelascinis' promises to mean that they would refinance her home, which means she would continue to own it.

Taking the unchallenged findings as true, we conclude that the Pelascinis deceived Pace-Knapp when they promised her that they would help her "save" her home and implied that they would refinance her loan. Simply stated, the point is that they saved her home for themselves so that they would not have to bid at the rescheduled trustee's sale. They did not help her save her home for her, as suggested. The Pelascinis' practice of preying on this and other vulnerable home owners on the eve of foreclosure is the type of practice likely to deceive future distressed owners in the same manner.

Despite claims by local corporate media and real estate professionals that the Puget Sound area is somehow immune to the national subprime scandal and its impact on housing markets, the blood is in the water here, the sharks have smelled it, and they are beginning to feed.

Why is it that predatory foreclosure sharks can't immediately be put out of business and be brought up on criminal charges?


The Washington legislature just passed HB 2791 which on the face of it substantially increases regulation of the sharks. The bill apparently provides for increased plain-language disclosures, extends the right of recission (canceling) a contract for some additional days, requires the sharks to first determine if the homeowner can actually "buy back" the home under the terms offered, requires the sharks to act in the homeowner's best interests and establishes that the homeowner will receive at least 82% of market value if the homeowner is evicted.

Gov. Gregoire hasn't signed it yet.


Anonymous said...

What goes around comes around. Boboth has been flying under the legal radar scamming people in real estate deals for years. Good to see justice prevail. Hope he becomes the poster child for HB 2791

Anonymous said...

Thomas Boboth has no morals. For him anyone is fair game, the elderly, the hanicapped, someone on a fixed income, you get the picture? He would con his own family members out of their life savings if he believed he wouldn't be found out. If you do business with Mr. Boboth, never forget, he is only out for what is best for himself. He will say and do anything to make you believe he has the best interests of his "client" in mind, but it is a concept he has NEVER believed in. When he is caught in one of his many lies, he can turn on you and show you the true character that is the driving force of Thomas. That is one full of rage and contempt for all that would dare to question him, or his motives. Anyone that should make that mistake will find themselves face to face with a man quite capable of truly frightening behavior.