Selma woman loses home in foreclosure relief scam

March 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Fresno County district attorney's office is investigating U.S. Foreclosure Relief and some associated businesses, all tracing back to one suspect.

Espi Chavez is used to taking ownership. She owns her own beauty salon in Selma, and a few apartments around town, but she no longer owns her own home. The modest house, a few blocks from Selma High School, sold at foreclosure auction last July. But Chavez didn't find out until someone from the bank told her she needed to move out.

For the previous nine months, Chavez had been writing checks to U.S. Foreclosure Relief, trying to get her mortgage loan modified. She even received a letter saying the modification was approved a month before the foreclosure auction. She now believes it was a fake, manufactured by the owner of U.S. Foreclosure Relief, Vickie Fuentes.

A month later, Chavez's home was gone. And she's not alone. The Better Business Bureau gives U.S. Foreclosure Relief a rare "f" rating after receiving six complaints from people on the verge of losing everything.

"They're already desperate and they're looking for somebody to save their home," said Cindy Dudley. "If they can't find help with the foreclosure issue then many of these folks end up homeless."

Fresno County district attorney's office investigators served a search warrant at one of the business' former addresses, as well as at the home where Vickie Fuentes lived with her husband. They discovered at least 16 possible victims.

Action News tried to contact Fuentes, but no one answered the door and phone calls went unanswered. Espi Chavez doesn't expect to ever hear from her again, but she wants to see her... in police custody.

"She's hurt too many people," said Chavez. "She has to be stopped."

Chavez is now living in a mobile home park.

Action News will stay on this story and let you know if and when prosecutors file charges against Vickie Fuentes.

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