More on refunds from Beazer's mortgage fraud restitution fund
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(REMINDER) Beazer buyers filing for big refunds: Under an agreement with prosecutors, Beazer accepted responsibility for fraudulent practices and agreed to pay $10 million immediately toward restitution for victimized homebuyers. The fund could grow to $50 million...Refund applications must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2014.
(In past news it was stated that homeowners need their documentation to be able to prove fraud, to recover any money.)
More than 60 Beazer Homes customers got free legal help last weekend in Charlotte to file claims totaling more than $310,000.
The payouts come under the $50 million settlement the builder reached last summer with federal prosecutors.
This week, more than 130 additional people have called for help from the Charlotte School of Law, which is providing the free service. Dozens more have e-mailed for help.
Because of high demand, two more free refund clinics have been scheduled for next month, said third-year law student Stratford Kiger, one of the organizers.
The biggest claim filed last Saturday was for $23,000, with a lot in the $8,000 range, said Kiger, a former banker and member of the Public Interest Law Society student organization. This week, students helped a homeowner file for $13,000.
Beazer, once one of the Charlotte area’s largest builders, built thousands of homes in the region.
The clinics are one of the last steps in a process triggered by a 2007 Observer series that found Beazer arranged loans some buyers couldn’t afford and violated federal lending rules. The series, which found high foreclosure rates among some Beazer communities, prompted several federal investigations. Beazer also acknowledged employees in its mortgage business violated federal housing regulations and closed the unit in 2008. The company pulled out of the region amid the investigations.
Last July, the U.S. attorney’s office in Charlotte charged Beazer with mortgage fraud and accounting fraud. As part of the alleged mortgage fraud scheme, employees used fraudulently inflated home prices to offset down-payment “gifts” and encouraged homebuyers to overstate their income to qualify for loans, according to court filings.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Beazer accepted responsibility for fraudulent practices and agreed to pay $10 million immediately toward restitution for victimized homebuyers. The fund could grow to $50 million as the company recovers from losses during the housing slump.
Refund applications must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2014. CharlotteLaw students plans to continue helping homebuyers until the deadline and have also trained workers at several non-profit groups whose clients might seek help filing for refunds.
Want to go?
Two more free homebuyers’ sessions are scheduled.
When: Saturday, May 15 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 18 at 7 p.m.
Where: CharlotteLaw’s campus, 2145 Suttle Ave., just off Wilkinson Boulevard near Interstate 277.
Reservations are encouraged for both free workshops. Call 704-971-8382 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t attend the workshop, ask for help at another time through the clinic.