CO Latino Residents file Civil Cases against Real Estate Firm

Last year eight Latino residents in Greenley, Colorado filed civil lawsuits against JS Real Estate and five of its staff members. JS Real Estate was owned by Mark Strodtman and Dean Jurl. The lawsuits that were filed against the company contend that the company targeted Latino homebuyers and scammed them into mortgage loans that the Latino homebuyers could not afford.

The complaint states that the company and its officers used a marketing strategy that used Spanish Media Markets to target the Latino Community and that the company used their bilingual personnel to lure them into homes that they did not qualify for and could not afford.

The defendants in the lawsuits include Mark Strodtman, Dean Jurl, Jessica Frelicianco Brandt, Charles Brandt and Flora Carmona.

The Colorado Civil Rights Coalition filed two different lawsuits against the defendants involved on behalf of two different Latino families. The Coalition assisted Angelica Quintana and Martin Zozaya with their cases against the defendants. The Judge in the Case issued a ten thousand dollar penalty against the entire defendant with the exception of Mr. Strodtman and Ms. Carmona. The second case was filed for six other Latino homebuyers who were targeted using the predatory lending practices. The second case is scheduled to be heard in May of this year.

Mark Strodtman the co-owner of JS Real Estate and defend in the civil suit was convicted last fall. Mr. Strodtman was convicted of eleven counts of felony theft, eleven counts of felony forgery and racketeering in relation to a mortgage fraud scheme that transpired between 2006 and 2007. He is currently facing a sentence of thirty one years in prison. The charges against Felicianco, Brandt and Carmona have been dropped in exchange for his testimony.

The Colorado Division of Civil Rights Director, Steven Chavez uncovered in November of 2008 that JS Real Estate and its employees had violated Colorado’s Fair Housing Laws as they specifically targeted Latino homebuyers. Mr. Chavez stated that the practice that the company used targeted the Latino homebuyers and put them into mortgages that were predatory in nature. The mortgage loans were adjustable rates and often included balloon payments due at the end of the loan which eventually caused the homebuyers to lose their homes to foreclosure.

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