The jackpot of a lifetime arrived last month inside a letter from GMAC Mortgage: an offer to make more than $200,000 in debt instantly disappear.
The lender, the letter said, would slash what the homeowner owed to ribbons, including shrinking her $204,000 mortgage principal to about a third its size.
Far be it from a hoax, the letter was one of thousands sent to homeowners across the country. The offers, free and unsolicited, proved nearly impossible to resist.
“When they first came across, I thought they were certainly a scam,” said St. Petersburg foreclosure attorney Matt Weidner. “The next thing I thought was, where’s mine?”