Beware the Scam: Knoxville TN Based Mortgage Investment Scheme

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty, LLC TN RE Lic# 323112

ScamAnother mortgage scamhas come to light, this one based in Knoxville TN, and predominately prayed on the elderly and retirees across several southern states.

They said they invested money from the equity in their home with the understanding that their remaining mortgage payments would be paid by Benchmark, and that the investors would also receive dividend income.
When the mortgage payments from Benchmark suddenly stopped, the investors said, they were unable to reach anyone with Benchmark who could provide answers.
A federal source familiar with the investigation said the investors include many elderly and retirees from states across the Southeast.

From reading the article, it sounds as if the so-called investment firm was offering the chance to invest the equity of their homes, in a loosely designed reverse-mortgage type scheme.

The letter from IRS investigatorsto known potential victims includes the following businesses:

  • Benchmark Capital, Inc.
  • Benchmark Capital Investments, LLC
  • J. Allen and Associates, Inc.
  • Charles D. Candler (a.k.a. C.D. Candler)
  • Cornerstone Mortgage
  • Southern Bankers

If an investment firm contacts you about investing the equity of your home with them, the first thing to do is check with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, to see if they are indeed licensed to do business in this state.

If you are considering a reverse-mortgage, please talk to your preferred lender first! Perhaps start with your financial institution or your mortgage servicer. Here are some additional reverse-mortgage facts.

Please folks, be careful out there! Beware the Scam!

Posted by


Chiara (KEY-r-ah)...Your KEY to Home Sweet Home

Realty Executives Associates

109 Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919

(865) 588-3232


Search for Knoxville, TN Homes



Comments (8)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Chiara - Thank you for the warning on Beware the Scam: Knoxville TN based mortgage investment scheme. It is important to expose criminals praying on elderly.

Mar 26, 2012 12:54 AM
Chiara Petro, Broker
eXp Realty, LLC - Knoxville, TN
Commercial Investment Specialist

Hi John. Yes, nothing irks me more than people (I am actually thinking of a not very nice expletive) that prey on the elderly.

Mar 26, 2012 02:25 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Chiara.....there are so many elderly who don't understand any of this and they are fair game for scammers.....

Mar 29, 2012 06:25 AM
Chiara Petro, Broker
eXp Realty, LLC - Knoxville, TN
Commercial Investment Specialist

Barbara, I completely agree. And, if I were a betting person, I'd wager many of these folks will not get their "investments" back, either. Best thing to do is spread the word about these scams, in hopes of keeping folks safe.

Mar 29, 2012 06:53 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Chiara, there's got to be a better way to protect the elderly from these types of scams.

Apr 05, 2012 02:45 PM
Chiara Petro, Broker
eXp Realty, LLC - Knoxville, TN
Commercial Investment Specialist

Tammie, I agree with you 100%! I wish I knew a better way to get the information out there, but we do the best we can by posting the scams and giving appropriate places for good information.

Apr 09, 2012 12:06 AM

I invested with this man and recieved a check like clock work every month for 10 years. The IRS put a hold on all of his money and he COULD not continue to pay everyone......that is why the payments "suddenly stopped".....maybe it wasn't a scam...maybe the govt didn't feel like they were getting their share...AS USUAL. Not everything you read is true. If you've ever been in the spotlight, you would know the media isn't honest about everything. I know Charles Candler was a good man and the facts have not all came out yet. It may not be exactly how it seems. I feel bad for his family that is left behind. Pray for them.

Apr 10, 2012 09:51 AM
Chiara Petro, Broker
eXp Realty, LLC - Knoxville, TN
Commercial Investment Specialist

Wanda thank you for your perspective. However, my post was not focusing on Candler's businesses, but to point out that not all investment opportunities regarding real estate are actually legitimate, and offering folks several places to find appropriate information.

From the original article:

Neither Candler nor any of the firms listed in the IRS letter have a license to do mortgage investments in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions


Apr 10, 2012 10:24 AM