An 82-year-old South L.A. resident could be kicked out of her home if an eviction notice from Wells Fargo is served by the L.A. County Sheriff.
For over a decade, Ruby Smith has been fighting payments on a loan she says she never wanted.
"I never signed any papers," she said. "I met these people one time."
In 2006, Smith was shopping around for a small loan on a new car when she signed documents she thought were only an application. She later found that a $400,000 loan had been taken out against her home. When she called the broker to cancel the loan, she says she was told to transfer the money to a title company–which she did–and never saw the money or the broker again.
"I started calling the title companies. I called them to send me all of the information and show me in the papers and so forth. And when they sent me the papers, I had not signed any of the papers and my husband didn't sign any of the papers," she said.
Smith's husband passed away in 2012, but documents dated from 2013 have his signature right above hers.
According to the United States Department of Justice, of the over 13 percent of Americans over the age of 65, an estimated eight percent will be the victims of consumer fraud, resulting in a collective loss of more than $2.9 billion annually from financial exploitation.
The L.A. City Attorney's office has held events for elderly residents to help them avoid bad loans and mortgages.
"It's hard to navigate the system, especially when you've been a victim of a scam or you're just trying to stay in your home" said Rob Wilcox, Director of Community Engagement for the L.A. City Attorney's office.
He says the office is working with other government agencies and legal aid non-profits to help residents stay in their homes.
Wells Fargo would not comment on the case of eviction because of pending litigation.