Exposing a mortgage relief scheme’s empty promises

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If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you might look for financial relief to help keep the roof over your head. Do you turn to your bank or mortgage lender for help? Maybe you got a mailer promising mortgage relief – via a lawsuit against banks and lenders? If you’ve thought about the last option, watch out for empty promises.

The FTC has filed charges against Brookstone Law and Advantis Law for defrauding people in financial distress. According to the FTC, these companies convinced people to pay at least $895 up front to join a mortgage fraud lawsuit against banks and lenders. Homeowners found out about this scheme through mailers which said the lawsuit would help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgage, or help them get money from their lenders.

But wait, there’s more. The FTC says people who visited these law offices to have their mortgage papers “evaluated” were told they had a strong case. Many of them then paid upfront and recurring monthly fees. But the FTC says that most of the companies’ proposed lawsuits were flat out dismissed. And, in many instances, the companies never even added paying homeowners as plaintiffs to any case. Which, of course, means that homeowners never got the help they were promised, but were out money they could ill afford to lose. 

If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, contact your bank or mortgage lender for help. You can check out our Mortgage Relief Scams article for more information. Spot a mortgage relief scam? Report it to the FTC.

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

Comments

I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED OUT OF $2300.00 - THEY SAID IF THEY CAN NOT HELP ME - THEY WOULD RETURN $2000 AND KEEP $300 FOR ALL THE WORK THAT THEY WOULD DO.

This FTC article about Mortgage Relief Scams explains that you don't have to pay any money to a mortgage assistance company until the company delivers the results you want.

It's illegal for a company to charge you a penny until:

  1. it's given you a written offer for a loan modification or other relief from your lender; and
  2. you accept the offer. The company also must give you a document from your lender showing the changes to your loan if you decide to accept your lender's offer. And the company must clearly tell you the total fee it will charge you for its services.

You could contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF)  at 1.888.995.HOPE. HPF helps people avoid foreclosure. HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors.

If you think you are a victim of foreclosure fraud, please contact the Federal Trade Commission and your state Attorney General's office.

You have the complete copy of the message they sent to you

I need your help, my mortgage company HSBC sold my mortgage to Caliber loans. HSBC told Caliber Loans that I didn't make payments I have Postal Money order receipts that I made payments. I need you to recommend some attorneys or give me some advice on what I should do.

You could talk with the company again and send copies of your receipts, or see what other information they need to show you made the payments. You can file a complaint about a mortgage lender with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

You could contact your state Attorney General’s office. If you want to find a lawyer, you could use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.

Unfortunately I was put on a critical situation and end up paying lots of money to those legal rep. With out getting any help. I loss my money and never received the service as agreed. Finally after two years got an agreement with my lender .

NOTHING will help you NO STATE OR FEDERAL I have tried for over 2 YEARS I have called emailed went to court , NOTHING WILL STOP IT DONT LEAVE YOUR HOME the sheriff can not go into your home & take you out Do NOT GO OUTSIDE WHEN THEY COME TO LOCK YOU OUT OR THEY WILL TAKE YOUR HOME ..I LOST MY HOME AFTER 14 yrs to a scam & the state courts WILL DO NOTHING & the FEDS WILL NOT HELP YOU FIGHT THE STATE ...I HAVE BEEN THERE ..I AM NOW HOMELESS

I am screaming the same thing! I have talked to so many federal agencies and nobody can do anything. My 2nd, Franklin Credit Management Corporation, is determined to foreclose on my home. I am 81 months in default; I've tried for the last 3 years to pay them and they have refused. I hired a law firm that did nothing to stop the foreclosure; I had to file Ch 13 bankruptcy to stop the sale. Only thing I got was a repayment plan of $21,000 down and $3600 a month for 12 months (total of $64,000 over 12 months) NO ONE thinks this is unreasonable. Franklin refuses to negotiate! No one seems concerned. I am fighting this and now needs to hire an attorney for the bankruptcy. This is wrong. Why is it okay to pay an attorney but can't get help with 2nd lender. How can they dictate rules and not cooperate?

We dealt with them after Litton Loan, fought, had a mediator I still have all the files, they sold our home after we went to court and no one would help us...Franklin Credit, Franklin Credit Mortgage and I am sure there are other names, check out Litton as well, I doubt there is anything I can do since this happened in 2009 but I still have all the documents, emails from them and HOPE PROGRAMing

Congrats FTC. It is about time to do away with these scammers. The public needs to be more informed.

Thank you for this information.

the biggest scam national mortgage settlement judge ruling ,filing claim by there date pay taxes on settlement money all sound good rite and it is 2016 i am still in a homeless place and still waiting for nothing class action law suit the biggest since the tabaco settlement.check it out its all on line. but u cant miss something u dont have. i would like at least what i lost

Anyone heard of LLC Loans

I think it is sad when you have a mers loan and it says a lot of investors are attached to your mortgage. Then when you ask about a modification, that company tells you to not make your payments to qualify. The lender gives you a bogus trial period. They tell you to send in paperwork just to tell you that they never received it.So, you submit it again, and again. Then, you send in your checks, that they never received but the bank tells you they have been cashed. So, before you realize it five months have gone by and they want to foreclose on your home because somehow you defaulted by doing what they told you to do. They have done this to a lot of people,I am finding out and no one will stop them. They could at least tell you to bring some Vaseline. Loan Modifications are a scam

If you are a victim of a mortgage or foreclosure rescue scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

To find legitimate help you can contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), a nonprofit organization that operates the national 24/7 toll-free hotline (1.888.995.HOPE). HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors.

Wells Fargo did the same thing to me.
Tild ne not to make pmts after I became one month behind. I ask to put it on the end of the loan? Aurora loan services was an excellent lian co. They worked with their customers. Wells Fargo just steals your money. I am 55 lived in my house almist 30 yrs. My husband the breadwinner passed. I went to work and did nit make as much money.It only took one missed pmt. Which turned into 40 more yrs. Never knew how wells Fargo even purchased my home. Tryed harp and wells fargo will not sell my loan??? I really need some help. Have been questioning this loan since 2006. Never get any answers.

You could call the Hope Hotline at 888-995-HOPETM. The  Homeownership Preservation Foundation works to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. HPF is an independent nonprofit that provides counselors dedicated to helping homeowners from HUD certified housing counseling agencies.

Has anyone worked with Home Counseling Advocates, if so where you happy with the results?

Yes I did and still lost my house it sold on sheriff sale they told me it wouldn't sell they honor my request but still sold it

I joined a Lawsuit with the firm 'Lender Law Litigation - California- San Diego Case # SSC1-SD 40682-1947-MT, against my mortgage companies Nationstar and Chase, because they kept promising a modification and then never gave me one. I can see this is a real case, but I am paying the Lawyer's $ every month and paid $3,000 to file the case. Is this a real case ?

If you have questions about the actions of a lawyer or law firm, you can contact the Bar Association in the lawyer's home state. You can find information about your state Bar Association online.

Ameriquest Mortgage back in 2005 took my house i paid a lawyer the company was closed down 1600 office in US. It was a husband an wife who took the deeds to the bank An we paid them they never paid the bank but are still offering loans today. No one could tell me anything an of class since I moved never received paperwork. Was homeless with my kids the loan had a couple years left. Don't know where to turn to. But someone should pay. Any ideas. I am in PA.

You can contact your state Attorney General’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about a mortgage lender or refinancing company.

I own a double wide manufactured home in very good condition and find no help for a reverse mortgage. It is permanently sitting on 16 concrete piers and cinder block foundation.

I have paid real estate taxes listed as a single family home rather than a manufactured home. I am seeking relief from medical bills and all that goes with such issues.

If you are able to refer me to a company that might be able to assist me it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Preferred method of communication as hearing impaired on the phone. Not impossible but difficult.

You can go to benefitscheckup.org  for information about help paying with prescriptions and food. You can also go to eldercare.gov to find local resources to help with food, housing, home repairs and more.

I was also scammed by a company in Fl lauderdale August Belmont and Co and the Florida Land Trust act I gave them 2500.00 dollars and took off with my money and alot of others people money and never got anything I have reported them to the states atterony but nothing has been done for me.it has been about 7 years

had my mortgage with chase 9nyrs. house was 157 thou put down almost 70 grand. 9.125 percent interest. have had problems off and on with making payments on time. tried to get a loan mod 2x all I was asking for or looking for was a lower interest rate which would have dropped my payment 2-3 hundred a month. first time I used an agency which did nothing . told me I had to be 3 month behind to get the mod. stayed 3 months behind for 1.5 yrs at the end I was denied the loan mod. stayed in touch with the bank got no relief no mod. had to catch up the 3 months I was behind. I did it. tried again after the laws changed didn't go behind on payments, they strung me along for almost 2 years during that tie and continuing I have to work insane amounts of hours to make sure the mortgage gets paid. some weeks I don't get the extra hours and fall behind on the payment usually gets paid before I am 30 days late. because of the extra hours worked to pay bills my income is too high to qualify for the government programs. 1,2, 3 months a year I might fall more than 30 days but catch up again. when you call the bank they treat you like a criminal. this past year I took a promotion my boss was not submitting my time sheets I wasn't getting paid for my hours worked, I got 2 months behind and that was from july until November, when I finally got paid I was in such a high tax bracket I didn't even bring home 50 of my gross so the 20 hr days I put in was for nothing. chase charged me fees they wont disclose what the fees wre for, chase put money in a suspense account, extra money I specifically designated to go to my escrow account then the money disappeared and no one could tell me where it went or for what. chase, just sold my mortgage to a loan servicing company that has horrible , horrible complaints on the better business bureau, complaints from people who paid their payments and the payments were put into a suspense account instead of applied to their mortgages, charged fees for being late when they weren't late. took payments cashed payment checks and stated the consumer didn't make the payment. my credit is so screwed from not getting paid when I should have, making me fall behind for months, I don't qualify for MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE PROGRAMS. I cant refinance. no one you talk to can offer you a chance or any kind of help. this is my HOME, my life I have equity in this house. if you have equity but bad credit they are like vultures just waiting to take it from you the government programs left a lot of people like me in limbo with no help. my house value dropped right after I bought it from 180 thou to around 120 thou and all that money I put down on it is gone, I cant leave and loose everything I worked so hard for, and continue to work hard for. the companies like the one my mortgage was sold to should be watched. CLOSELY BY THE FTC.PROGRAMS SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE IN SITUATION LIKE ME. I am positive I am not the only one. I am trying and just cant ever get ahead of it. I know there are people ere with worse situations I am just statimg mine any thoughts on where I can turn to get out of this situation without loosing my houde ?

I filed all the complaints and they still got away with steering me into their house modification loan after I was approved for a Hamp Tier 2 government loan modification. This servicer denied my Hamp loan after i paid my 3 trial payments by saying I withdrew my application ,therefore they had to deny my good loan that I worked on for 2 years. I sued them with a promise that I would get my hamp tier 2 reinstated plus a little settlement for them lying about me as their excuse to cancel......then they shoved this approved offer on me that I did not apply for and said it is the exact same terms as the HAMP mod. ^ months now since the attorneys settled out of court and Guess what? They sold my loan and added 9.5 years on to get a fat payday of over 250,000. Surely not the same as my Hamp terms!!!! Thanks for not enforcing the law you made it illegal to steer troubled homeowners into a house loan for servicer`s own profits

Bythe way the maturity date that I have on my loan papers is what I agreed on and when they transferred the loan(SOLD) they changed the date without telling me. I had to see it on the new servicer`s welcome package. UNBELIEVABLE .Of course I will be 103 or dead when that date comes. The point is I handed these crooks over on a silver platter to stop them from screwing people and were main factors in the housing crisis. They should have paid big time but instead are still doing what they were told to stop.

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