Loan Scam Targets Seniors' Homes

Packed into Idriis Bilaal's Washington, D.C. home are 77 full years of cherished memories.

"I feel a part of the house and the house is part of me," says Bilaal.

But, as CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports, last year he faced foreclosure on his beloved home. That's when Calvin Baltimore came knocking with his card, which read: "I can make you a loan to stop the foreclosure."

"I didn't take my glasses with me, so I couldn't read what he was doing and so forth," says Bilaal. "He said, 'Well, I'm saving your house for you.'"

But the papers Bilaal signed actually transferred ownership of his house to another man, Vincent Abell.

By the time Bilaal realized he'd signed away his childhood home to a stranger, it was too late.

"I thought about suicide, I did," says Bilaal.

The same scenario was repeated not far away, where Catherine Meads was facing foreclosure. Again, Vincent Abell was there, offering to save the day.

Meads thought she was getting a loan to get out of debt.

Instead, "he actually took my house," she says.

The American Association of Retired People says it's a common scam.

"I've heard of it in at least ten cities in the U.S. - in Minnesota, Chicago, California and Atlanta," says Jean Constantine-Davis, AARP senior attorney.

CBS News tried to find Abell at the offices of his company Modern Management to get his side of the story, but he wasn't in.

A woman who answered the phone had no comment.

It turns out both Abell and Baltimore have done time in federal prison for property schemes. Now, the AARP is suing them in civil court hoping Meads and Bilaal will get their houses back.

In the meantime, both are renting the family homes they no longer own.

"He said he was a deacon in his church, but people do things on Sunday and different things on Monday sometimes," says Bilaal. "But I trusted the man, I trusted him."

Bilaal is short on trust, but long on hope that a house full of memories will someday be back in the family.