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A new foreclosure rescue scam promises to help distressed homeowners reveal the actual owner of a promissory note through a “securitization audit.” The only problem, according to investigative firm Mortgage Fraud Examiners is that the “hucksters” are charging fees for information that’s free to anyone for the asking.

“These questionable outfits are targeting desperate families, giving them the impression they can make their mortgages disappear if they just pay for a securitization audit,” says Mortgage Fraud Examiners founder Storm Bradford. “The idea is that the securitization audit will reveal the true owner of the mortgage, and that information can show the court that the foreclosing lender has no claim to the property. But here’s the thing: Anyone can find out who owns their note with just a little digging. There’s absolutely no need to pay a company for a securitization audit, but the peddlers of this scheme count on the fact that the average homeowner doesn’t know that.”

In addition to the financial hit, securitization audits usually deal homeowners another blow: They’re not typically even admissible in a court of law. Attorney Gregory Bryl, who practices in Florida and Virginia, explained that most securitization audits are merely the opinions of the people writing them, and those people have no way of knowing exactly what happened with a mortgage after it originally closed. Attorney Thomas K. Plofchan, Jr., who practices in Sterling, Va., and employs the services of Mortgage Fraud Examiners, contends that the only proven method for securing evidence critical to a homeowner’s claim against the lender is a thorough examination of the mortgage contract.

“Every homeowner facing foreclosure has fantasized about getting his home free and clear because his lender screwed up,” says Bradford. ” It’s only natural, but the fact is the only homeowners getting a home free and clear, and/or been granted other compensation have succeeded after a thorough analysis of their mortgage transactions revealing tortuous conduct or other weaknesses in the contracts they could use to attack their loans. A securitization audit can’t provide that level of scrutiny.”

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