MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Attorney General Luther Strange has announced that a Prattville woman will serve time in jail for residential mortgage fraud.
Lynda Branch pleaded guilty on October 31, 2016, to three counts of residential mortgage fraud.
On Thursday, Branch received a sentence of 46 months. She will serve 18 of those months in jail and be placed on probation for the remainder of her sentence.
Branch formally operated Professional Closing and Title LLC where she did business in Prattville as Pro Close. She acted as a closing agent in home sales.
According to Strange, a mortgage lending bank would transfer funds to Branch to pay off existing mortgages, but she did not pay off the mortgages.
This resulted in homeowners being responsible for outstanding mortgages and facing foreclosure. In order for the homeowners to keep their homes, they then had to engage in protracted litigation.
"This defendant's crimes caused tremendous anguish and difficulties for the homeowner victims," said Attorney General Strange. "These consumers had acted with responsibility and met their obligations but had to endure foreclosure notices and severe anxiety. They were forced to hire lawyers and fight to keep their homes. It is appropriate that the defendant now will serve time in jail for her wrongdoing."