Foreclosure Fraud - How Desperate Times Can Lead To Desperate Measures

Westborough, MA (PressExposure) July 16, 2008 -- The depth to which some individuals will sink in the face of a foreclosure continues to seek new levels. The latest ugly trend involves the foreclosed individual stripping their soon-to-be former homes of anything of value—countertops, chandeliers, rugs, plumbing fixtures, etc. L&W Investigations, a private investigations firm specializing in insurance claims, has become a regular authority on this ever-increasing type of crime.

“Because foreclosure is a process that takes place over a period of time, the homeowner has access to the home, even though it’s technically the bank’s. That gives them ample opportunity to strip the home of any thing that might have some value, even though items like countertops, chandeliers and other things that are attached to the home are considered part of the home,” said Neal Lyons, Chairman and CEO of Lyons & Wolivar Investigations, Inc. (L&W Investigations)

Since the bank doesn’t physically occupy the foreclosed home, discovering the removal of attached items usually occurs well after the fact. As part of the claims process, the bank’s insurance company will retain L&W Investigations to perform surveillance of foreclosed property to see if the foreclosed homeowner returns to remove more attached items.

Adds Lyons, “This kind of foreclosure scam has created a whole new genre of criminal. And, it is a crime because even though you once owned the home, as a foreclosed property you don’t. Therefore whatever you take that’s attached is considered burglary and destruction of private property and is prosecutable.”

In addition, L&W Investigations has also investigated other foreclosure-related crimes— arson, burglaries, etc. Many of these crimes, however, are revealed upon closer scrutiny of the homeowner’s insurance claim and the red flag clues they provide. For example:

● Policy date and date of the fire or burglary – if these dates are within a few weeks or months, that’s a red flag. ● Occurrence of a burglary followed shortly thereafter by a fire of the foreclosed house. ● Burglaries where little or no damage occurs to the house. ● Economic factors – homeowner owes more on the house or property than it’s worth.

While many insurance companies employ special investigations units to examine these claims, the volume of cases requires the assistance of private investigations firms like L&W Investigations. L&W conducts site inspections, interviews with neighbors and takes limited and comprehensive scope statements (recorded, if necessary).

“You can feel a certain degree of sympathy for people in a foreclosure situation, but that in no way justifies insurance fraud. Especially when you consider the costs associated with it run in the billions,” said Lyons.

L&W Investigations works exclusively on workers compensation, disability, liability, auto and property claims. With its network of investigations territories across the U.S. and Canada, Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands, L&W boasts a client roster of more than 100 clients, ranging from insurance companies to third-party administrators, self-insured companies to law firms and municipalities.

L&W employs seasoned investigators who specialize in investigating insurance cases and claims. All L&W investigators go through extensive training and have access to the most state-of-the-art surveillance equipment. Among L&W’s offerings are: surveillance; statements; activity/disability checks; asset/background investigations; and medical audits/clinic inspections.

For more information on L&W Investigations, Inc, you can call their corporate offices at (508) 616-9370 or visit the Web site at

About L&W Investigations

Not your everyday investigations firm
Lyons &Wolivar Investigations, Inc. (L&W Investigations) specializes in investigating insurance cases and claims. In addition to providing nationwide coverage, L&W investigators are highly trained specialists equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies and other advanced systems to provide second-to-none results and service. That includes online case status reports, video delivery by digital download or CD, DVD or VHS tape, rush services at no extra charge and much more.

L&W Investigations territories are located across the U.S. and the Hawaiian Islands as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico.

For additional information, visit the Web site at or contact L&€™s corporate headquarters located in Westborough, Massachusetts, at (508) 616-9370.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 15, 2008 at 7:57 pm
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