Maude Gonne-Broke had a nice little house paid for free and clear and a small pension from her lifetime as a nurse. That was, until her friendly neighborhood banker convinced her to sign her house over to the bank for a monthly reverse mortgage check.
At first Ms Gonne-Broke was happy to have the extra cash so she didn't have to skimp on her medication and buy her tuna on the cat food aisle. But before she knew it the bank owned the house and her checks dried up.
Foreclosure came next and Maude joined the ranks of Americans bilked out of their homes by unscrupulous bankers and the reverse mortgage scam.
This has become a $200 billion dollar industry with elderly homeowners taking out more than 132,000 such loans in 2007, an increase of more than 270 percent from two years earlier, according to the NY Times.
Ms Gonne-broke's banker, Snidley Whiplash, twirled his handle bar moustache and disputed her complaints with a villainous laugh