Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced yesterday (7/15/09) that his office was filing charges against four Michigan companies and one individual for committing foreclosure rescue fraud.
The total of 18 charges being filed stems from an undercover operation that was deployed as a result of complaints made by homeowners facing foreclosure, who were charged between $595 and $3,000 for foreclosure advice and prevention services.
Michigan law prohibits foreclosure rescue companies from making false or misleading statements and from charging for services in advance when seeking to negotiate a mortgage loan on behalf of a homeowner.
Some of the false or misleading statements made by those charged include:
- guarantees to prevent foreclosure
- falsely claiming high success rates
- assertions that foreclosure could be avoided regardless of credit score, home appraisal or debt to income ratio
Additionally, one company advised homeowners not to communicate with their mortgage company, an employee of another admitted they had no loan training, and the one individual charged also used the state seal on his business cards but did not work for the state of Michigan.
Those charged include:
- Save My Home USA, Madison Heights, MI
- Help4Homeowners, Birmingham, MI
- Payment Doctors, Livonia, MI
- Michigan Economic Reinstatement Program (MERP), Livonia, MI
- Mark Alan Foe, owner of MERP
Warnings were issued to 17 other companies citing their practices may be in violation of Michigan state law, and more information was requested about their business. They are:
- AFS Loan Modification Corp, Redondo Beach, CA
- Apply 2 Save, Inc./Apply2Save, Coeur D'Alene, ID
- Elect Group LLC, Deerfield Beach, FL
- Equity Recovery Services, Towsen, MD
- Federal Home Savers, Comniack, NY
- Financial Solution Center, Corona, CA
- Fresh Start Home Modification, Woodbury Heights, NJ
- Fresh Start Program/Fresh Start Mortgage Assistance, Fresh Start Mortgage Solutions, Mortgage Assistance Solutions, Clearwater, FL
- Hope Now Modifications, LLC, Cherry Hill Twp., NJ
- IMC Financial, Clearwater, FL
- Kirkland Young, LLC, Miami Beach, FL
- National Home Loan Assistance Program, San Diego, CA
- New Hope Loan Modification, Bellmawr, NJ
- Oceanview Investments, Oceanview Investment Services Corp., Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Peoples First Financial, San Diego, CA
- Pope & Associates Mortgage, Ontario, CA
- Savemtg.com, Galthersburg, MD
If you or someone you know has been a victim or client of one of these companies, or the victim of any type of mortgage or foreclosure rescue fraud, contact the office of your Attorney General right away for help and information.
Michigan homeowners should call (877) 765-8388. For other states, click here to find your Attorney General.