(WMC TV) - There's a special place in you-know-where for a housing counselor who uses her position to rip off her clients.
Pamela Hudson gave all of her savings to housing counselor Lori Macakanja to arrange a loan modification and keep her home from falling into foreclosure.
Turns out Macakanja never intended to follow through with the loan modification.
"Instead of paying the mortgage to the lender on behalf of the client, she pocketed the money," said U.S. Postal Inspector Shelley Carosella.
"All of our savings was gone," said Hudson. She had to sell her deceased mother's jewelry to recover what she could.
Inspectors said in all, Macakanja pocketed almost $300,000 from 136 clients.
If you're seeking a loan modification, inspectors said always deal directly with your current lender.
If you need a housing counselor, seek only HUD-approved counselors (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development).
Inspectors charged Macakanja with fraud. She was convicted and sentenced to 72 months in jail and ordered to pay $290,000 in restitution to her victims.