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10 Notorious Instances of Foreclosure Fraud

The Pines Case

Foreclosure is an ugly process that results in a homeowner being removed from his or her home. The sheer trauma of losing the roof over one's head can lead a person to behave in irrational ways, and in at least one case, it led to potential criminal charges against a foreclosure attorney.

Encinitas, Calif., attorney Michael T. Pines was arrested in February of 2011 for allegedly violating a restraining order related to a home he was trying to save from foreclosure. The home's lender had posted security guards at the property during the process, a move they said was prompted by Pines' reputation as a controversial, outspoken foreclosure attorney [source: Amvona].

Police said Pines trespassed on the property and threatened a security guard, then returned the following day and became violent in a confrontation. A video posted at San Diego's showed Pines telling a security guard he would "precipitate an armed confrontation" over the property [source: Amvona].

Tempers flare and emotions run high when a family loses its home. But it's a fine line between standing up for a homeowner and subverting the legal foreclosure process by breaking the law. Threats of violence can only make the foreclosure process go from painful to terrible for the parties involved.