AUSTIN, Texas (12/31/07)--University FCU (UFCU) in Austin is helping 10 Hispanic families who were victimized by a homeownership scam. UFCU said it will provide mortgage loans to help the homeowners keep their properties. The credit union will charge the mortgage portfolio interest rate it offered at the time the loan applications were first prepared in fall 2006. The homeowners will pay only the remaining balance on their homes. “This will secure the homes in the occupants’ names at a substantially lower price,” said Yvonne Noack, UFCU mortgage lending officer. “They won’t lose their property.” The homeowners had bought the properties several years earlier in what turned out to be a scam, operated by Robert L. Flores Jr. of Cedar Park, said the credit union. Flores and his company, Galindo Trust, were successfully sued by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and permanent injunctions with civil penalties totaling $1.4 million were ordered against the defendants in May. The scam targeted Hispanic buyers who do not speak English. Some of the buyers did not have Social Security identification or other documents normally required of homebuyers, Abbott said, according to the credit union’s press release. In the scam, Flores’ company sold homes that he bought as a group from Shriners Hospital, which financed his purchase. Flores then re-sold the homes but did not tell buyers of the pre-existing liens he owed. He also collected for taxes and insurance but failed to pass on the families’ payments. The credit union has $840 million in assets.