Last summer, Lawrence Ford jumped into the fast-growing market for so-called
reverse mortgages. The retired auto mechanic and horse trainer used the money
he received to pay off his existing $70,000 mortgage and "piddled away"
the remaining $24,000 on things like restaurant meals for his four girlfriends,
Or so Mr. Ford thought. Last month, the owner of the Orlando, Fla., title company that handled his loan admitted to stealing more than $1 million from several reverse-mortgage holders, including Mr. Ford. Bank of America Home Loans, a unit of Bank of America Corp., says the title agent never sent it the money required to pay off Mr. Ford's mortgage. As a result, Mr. Ford says, the bank recently threatened to foreclose on his seven-acre ranch in Archer, Fla.
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