Stopping a Phony Mortgage Lender

Many homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments look for practical payment alternatives: they might try to convince the lender to modify the loan terms, ask for a temporary reduction, or maybe try to refinance the loan. The Federal Trade Commission’s settlement with American Mortgage Consulting Group illustrates one alternative to stay away from: paying a company a fee to modify a mortgage before they deliver the results they promise.

The case is part of the FTC’s Distressed Homeowner Initiative, focused on shutting down sham foreclosure rescue schemes, bogus mortgage modification offers and other phony deals. According to the FTC’s complaint, American Mortgage called homeowners nationwide and allegedly promised to lower their monthly mortgage payments substantially in exchange for up-front fees of $1,495 to $4,495. The company allegedly gave the impression they were associated with the federal government, falsely claimed that most of their customers got mortgage modifications, and assured homeowners they’d almost certainly get modifications that would reduce their monthly payments. But in general, alleged the FTC, the hundreds of consumers who paid American Mortgage those fees never got a loan modification – or a refund of the fee they paid.

The FTC enforces the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule, which makes it illegal for companies to collect a dime - let alone thousands of dollars - until they’ve given their customers some key information: namely, a written offer from their lender or servicer that the customer decides is acceptable and a document from the lender or servicer that describes the key changes to the mortgage that would result if the customer accepts the offer. Oh yes, the companies also must remind the customers of their right to reject the offer without having to pay any fees at all.

If you're having trouble paying your mortgage or have gotten a foreclosure notice, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule. Legitimate resources are available to help you save your home, including housing counselors who can talk knowledgeably about a variety of foreclosure prevention options like reinstatement and forbearance.

Please let us know if you paid a fee in advance to a company that claimed it would modify your mortgage but didn’t come through. Your reports help law enforcement find and stop the scammers.

Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Tagged with: foreclosure, mortgage, scam
Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Comments

I been scam by the following companies americn resort International,0yester bay beach resort,concord servincing Inc.,pearl development,IntervaL International sterling bank and trust co.of $60.000,dovennmuehle mortgage of $10,000 nizan ford corp.0f $24.000

I paid a company in Utah called Preferred Law $3000 because they said they could get my loan modification down by another $600 per month and get the 4% interest down to 2% interest. Four months later they said they could not help me. I lost the loan modification I had received and made one payment on. I now cannot get that modification back. And they could only give me back $700. The Utah State Bar said Benjamin Holden, the attorney of Preferred Law violated several laws according to my complaint. I would like the FTC to investigate this company as well.

i fell for one of these scammers in florida.i am from virginia. i'm not sure if the company is still in business.it was "the defense law group" name to call was randy holland and karen gill. the telephone number was 877 814 4616. i was scammed out of 1200.00 and got nothing.

i fell for one of these scammers in florida.i am from virginia. i'm not sure if the company is still in business.it was "the defense law group" name to call was randy holland and karen gill. the telephone number was 877 814 4616. i was scammed out of 1200.00 and got nothing.

we have been contacted by a law firm in Laguna HILLS
Cal. They say they can save us thousands on are home.
They want 3,400. to close this deal. Their name is
Main Law Professional Corporation. Law Offices of James Conkey
23046 Avenida de la Carloia, Suite #600
LAGUNA HILLS, cA 92653

What was the outcome? Are they legit? They just contacted me. Thanks Julian 941-232-9959

I just received a letter in the mail that appeared to be from citibank, but upon closer inspection was from Main Law, PC offices of James Conkey (they actually spelled his name "conckey" in the fine print so i had trouble tracking it down). I was pretty tempted to call as things aren't going so great. Thanks for posting your comment, otherwise I'd be on the phone right now most likely losing more of my shirt than I've already lost.

I called and spoke with someone named Andrea at Main Law Firm and though she did not request any money today, she did request pay stubs, bank stmts, tax return from '12 and a utility bill. At what point did they want money from you? I am in the banking industry and am fully aware of scams "lawyer" but called out of curiosity. Sounds like they will want a nice little check before doing anything of value! Glad I read this as I will be told they can help and then I will pay and get rolled for a few thousand dollars!

I got scammed in a foreclosure rescue scenario. I was promised a refinance provided I pay twenty thousand dollars. Because of the stupid DC statutes of limitations, I lost the house and everything in it!

I find a false sense of security in our great country and I won't be silent. Insurance companies are taking in thousands of dollars in premiums leaving the consumer without recourse. If your company breach it's agency contract with failure to act or protect property insured; holding a claim open for over 2 years and of filing false statements to vendors about payments what can we do we feel like someone broke into our home we are so vulnerable

Has anyone heard of American Home Relief? They are promising a modification for $1,500 down and a total of $4,200. Is this legit?

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