Valley business accused of targeting neighborhoods hardest hit by housing bust

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by Meredith Yeomans

azfamily.com

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM

ANTHEM, Ariz. - Several people have contacted 3 On Your Side saying they were taken advantage of by a Valley-business called Property Option Professionals.

All of the Anthem residents owe more than their homes are worth, and claim company owner Bryan Wooldridge told them he could even things out.

"Initially, Property Option Pros has guaranteed us that they would be able to achieve a principal reduction,” homeowner Bill Rouse said.

Bill and his wife Amy paid just shy of $2,000.

Teal Jenkins says he paid a grand.

Jon Corey says he spent $1,600 on behalf of his 95-year-old mother.

But, like everyone here, says he got nowhere close to what he was promised.

“I really don't think Brian had any intention of following through, but just to do enough to keep under the mantle of the law,” Jon said.

A year-and-a-half after signing up, the Rouse's say Wooldridge has done little to no work reducing their loan.

Despite requests and a refund policy stating if ‘Property Option Pros is unable to arrange a principal reduction refinance... This fee is fully refundable,’ the Rouse's haven't seen a dime of their money back.

“They're basically taking money from people and living on it, and when people are asking for their money back because nothing's been done, then that's when all contact stops,” Amy said.

Last July, the Arizona legislature made it illegal to accept up-front fees for services similar to what these people bought.

So how did homeowner Bob Namen sign up in January of this year?

That's what 3 On Your Side wanted to ask Wooldridge.

When 3 On Your Side didn't hear back from him, we showed up at the Cave Creek home he’s renting.

We were told he was not home.

We also went to his mother-in-law's, Nancy Taylor, with whom he was working.

The deal is is that all these homeowners are out a lot of money,” 3 On Your Side producer said.

“No they're not there's 5 of them,” Taylor said.

Both refused to talk to us on-camera but over the phone Wooldridge told us he wasn't aware of the new law.

He said of the 60 or so homeowners he's worked with, he was allegedly successful at modifying roughly half.

But what about that money back guarantee these residents thought would protect them if they signed up?

“Right now the business is closed down and we have been closed down by the state,” Wooldridge said. “At this point and time we're just trying to figure out what the next step is. What can be done what has to be done what needs to be done where it needs to go.”

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