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Elderly woman pays for grandson’s errors

A Pelham Bay woman whose grandson and former-daughter in law allegedly took out a mortgage loan in her name by forging her signature says she is nearing bankruptcy and close to being kicked out of her home because of a faulty loan.

One bank loan on 94-year-old Madeline Cicale’s Mulford Avenue home was taken out to aid her grandson, Dominick Cicale, who offered testimony in the mob-trial of Vincent ‘Vinny Gorgeous’ Basciano, former owner of the Throggs Neck beauty salon, Hello Gorgeous.

According to Madeline Cicale, her grandson Dominick asked her to take out an additional $50,000 on her mortgage in 2002, and she admits to having signed for the action, never knowing that the loan was actually for $189,000.

Cicale indicated she signed the initial loan hastily, and may not have been given the opportunity to read through it carefully.

Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Cicale, her daughter in law, Dominick’s mother Linda Cicale, who she says already forged her name onto the deed to her home, ended up taking out an additional $100,000 loan with Wachovia bank on Madeline’s home.

“They used my passport; that is how they got Linda’s name onto the deed,” Cicale said. “I never got a letter or notice from the bank telling me how much I owed, and didn’t know she was on the deed. I ended up finding out after Dominick went to jail in 2005. Because Linda, who has declared bankruptcy, was on the title, I no longer got a senior citizen rate for my property taxes.”

And Cicale also says that even though, after legal red-tape, her former daughter-in-law was taken off of the deed to her home, she has been declined for a reverse mortgage, which the 94-year-old says she so badly needs to stay afloat financially.

“I have been in and out of hospitals, and have a number of medical conditions costing money,” Cicale noted. “I applied for a reverse mortgage with several companies, but was turned down because of the business with Wachovia, Linda, and Dominick.”

Reverse mortgages are government insured, and therefore have more stringent lending standards than does the adjustable rate mortgage that Cicale currently pays, totaling over $2,000 a month in bills. 

With her grandson in jail, and her former-daughter-in-law out of her life, Cicale has had to ask other family members for support in paying down the debt that she said was amassed primarily through fraud. Madeline Cicale is currently engaged in a litigation with Wachovia bank.

Donna Marie Jendritza, assistant vice-president for public relations for Litton, the company managing Cicale’s mortgage, says the company has an identity theft and fraud unit that looks into claims like Cicale’s. 

“I didn’t know that Linda was on the deed when I signed the loan for my grandson,” Cicale said. “If I had known that, I never would have signed.” 

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