A BRITISH pensioner fears losing her home in the UK over a mortgage that was fraudulently taken out in her name in Spain.
Teresa Smith is being ‘harassed’ by bailiffs over the unpaid €100,000 debt that was taken out by a mortgage conman.
The 66-year-old is terrified of opening the door of her home in Coventry for fear of letting in repo men contracted to recoup the Banco Popular debt.
Her nightmare began when a mortgage was taken out in her name by notorious Costa del Sol conman Jose Luis Maseda in 2007.
Lawyer Maseda – who conned over 100 expats out of an estimated €20 million – had opened the mortgage, unbeknown to Smith, after getting her to sign over power of attorney.
Via his property investment firm, Eurobrokers, he helped her buy a house in Benalmadena with just a €13,000 deposit.
Told the house would be rented out to pay off a ‘small mortgage’, Maseda convinced mother-of-two Smith that she would not pay any other costs.
“I trusted Maseda which of course was foolish,” part-time secretary Smith told the Olive Press. “Everything moved so fast, he promised to sort everything out and I really had no idea what was happening.”
After completing on the house a few months later, Smith believed rentals would pay off the mortgage.
However, this did not happen and the house was repossessed in 2008 after sizeable mortgage repayments were not met.
“Next thing I know I’ve got a bailiff on the phone last week demanding I pay up,” Smith continued.
“I am now too scared to open the door and I only answer the phone if I recognise the number.
“Now I am terrified of them forcing a sale of my house here.
“I thought losing my life savings would be the end of this nightmare. It already left me broke once, now I fear it could happen again.”
The Olive Press first exposed the scam in 2009 after various victims revealed how Maseda had used their power of attorney to open mortgages and defraud them.
Claiming to be a lawyer, financial consultant and tax advisor, he employed a team of crafty British staff at his Arroyo de la Miel office to help him undertake the scams.
Police eventually caught up with Maseda, who was charged with fraud in Torremolinos in 2011, but after appearing in court, he was bailed and then vanished.
He has not been seen since, with one legal firm representing over 60 victims, confessing it has ‘no idea’ where he is now.
When the Olive Press paid a visit to his luxury villa on the outskirts of Malaga, his sister-in-law claimed he had ‘gone abroad’.
Debt collectors Gemini Liberto Group are in charge of recouping the debt on behalf of Banco Popular. Both insisted they could not comment on ‘individual’ cases.