One of the really scummy things to come out of the Great Recession were the predatory real estate scammers who crawled out of the woodwork to promise families they’d help save their houses, only to actually take their money.
It turns out Mr. “Taco Trucks On Every Corner” Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez was one of those. Here is his LinkedIn profile, screencapped here for posterity.
According to HERA, a non-profit state organization which helps people with housing issues, Gutierrez is a serial scammer. In their 2013-2014 Annual Report, they describe their own dealings with him, when his abuses of immigrants and their loan modifications came to light.
Abuses leveled at immigrants can be particularly vicious. As part of a foreclosure rescue scam, Marco Gutierrez bullied and intimidated HERA’s monolingual Spanish-Speaking homeowner client, charging over $16,000 for a loan modification. He took the homeowner’s car as partial payment but never changed registration, racking up unpaid tickets under the homeowner’s name. When HERA helped the homeowner complain to authorities, the scammer filed a meritless lawsuit against the homeowner (and against a HERA staffer). In the course of defending the case, HERA discovered that Gutierrez was a serial litigant who had filed dozens of actions against his “clients”. Gutierrez was using the court system to bully vulnerable residents across several counties into paying amounts they did not owe him and to retaliate against those who complained about his practices. After defeating Gutierrez’s claims HERA brought a successful vexatious litigant motion against Gutierrez. As a result, both HERA’s client and countless other unrepresented homeowners who might have fallen prey to Gutierrez’s tactics are now protected.
The California Department of Real Estate has also brought actions against Gutierrez. In a 2011 action, they sought to revoke and/or suspend Gutierrez’ license for collecting advance fees for a home retention action, only to take additional funds from the homeowner’s checking account to pay his Comcast and Sprint bills instead of helping them to keep their home.
As a consequence of that action, Gutierrez and his wife were barred from any dealings with individual homeowners, though they did not lose their license entirely.
Apparently Mr. Gutierrez is also a serial bankruptcy filer. According to court documents from 2014, Gutierrez has filed bankrutpcy at least 14 times. A potential creditor and former friend explained how they used bankruptcy filings as sort of a pyramid scheme:
During the time I was working with [Debtors] they explained to me how they were using the bankruptcy court to prevent foreclosure on their home and to prevent other collection efforts, since they had no money. Mrs. Gutierrez explained to us that the way they were preventing a foreclosure was by filing for bankruptcy and then not following up on a legal requirement and the case would be dismissed. She explained to us that sometimes there was a three month period between the filing and the dismissal and that interfered with the foreclosure.
This is the man who created the “Latinos for Trump” group. He aspires to be Donald Trump, clearly. Serial bankruptcies, scamming immigrants, trying to use a federal program to help people save their homes as a personal piggy bank. These are characteristics of the man he supports so fervently.
How he lives his life is none of my concern, until he pops up on television claiming it’s a terrible thing for taco trucks to be on every corner while exploiting immigrant families to pay his Comcast and Sprint bills. Then it’s worth taking a closer look at his credibility to see whether he deserves attention.
He clearly does not.
(h/t Tawni via Twitter)