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LOUISVILLE (WATE) - A Blount County judge has stopped the foreclosure of a Louisville woman's home, although it was in the works since March.
Joy Joines was caught in the middle a multi-million dollar fraud investment scheme, according to investigators.
She was about to lose her house because no one would listen to her claims that she was a victim. Then Legal Aid of East Tennessee stepped in and got a judge's attention.
Joy doesn't have to worry anymore about losing the home her late husband built for them 25 years ago.
At the Blount County Justice Center, a judge ruled in her favor after reading a 15-page motion asking that the foreclosure by PNC Mortgage be stopped.
"I won the lawsuit," Joy said. "They cannot foreclose on me. They cannot harass me on the phone anymore."
Her problems started when accountant Joyce Allen was arrested six months ago, along with an associate, and charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Joy was distraught when she spoke to 6 On Your Side earlier this year. At the time, she had just received a big bill from PNC Mortgage demanding nearly a $1,000 a month mortgage payment or it would foreclose.
Since her husband died, Joy has lived on a fixed income and currently has custody of her two grandchildren.
Her supplemental monthly payments from a reverse mortgage were sent by Joyce Allen. "She paid herself almost $4,000" for the sale of Joy's home.
Until her arrest, Allen ran a tax service out of her home in Louisville. Joy had been a customer for years.
In 2005, Allen helped set up what was believed to be a reverse mortgage on Joy's home. For seven years, it provided her a small steady income, but there was really no reverse mortgage.
"She thought she was getting a reverse mortgage when in fact she got a new mortgage on the property," explained legal aid attorney Charity Miles Williams.
She and an associate wrote a persuasive motion for a restraining order, enough to convince a judge that the bank trying to foreclose on Joy's home had violated the Fair Debt Collections Act and had no authority to initiate the foreclosure.
When asked who owned the note, Williams said, "At this point, Freddie Mac owned the note, not PNC. There have been no documents filed with the Blount County register of deeds."
The trial date for Joyce Allen and her associate is set for early January, but a third person tied to the alleged Ponzi scheme won't be on trial. He's C.D. Candler.
In 1998, 6 On Your Side revealed Candler's fraudulent dealings in a company called CCI Builders, in which he was charged with theft.
In 2012, Candler operated Benchmark Investment out of an office in North Knoxville. When the government started closing in on him and Joyce Allen, Candler went to a cemetery and killed himself, according to police.
But Joy Joines didn't know Candler, only Joyce Allen. "The money? She took all of it, stuck it all in her pocket," Joy said.
Joy can put Joyce Allen out of her mind, at least until the trial.
Now, Joy has peace of mind knowing the threat of losing her home is finally behind her.
Legal Aid of East Tennessee is confident she won't be bothered again by the bank that tried to foreclose on her home.
The trial date for Joyce Allen is set for January 7, 2013.
If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.