A scammer by any other name is still a scammer
When struggling homeowners paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees to Wealth Educators, Inc., they expected help avoiding foreclosure. Although the “law firm” was quick to take their money, it did little or nothing to help save their homes, according to the FTC. And the “law firm” bit was all an act. The FTC sued the company and its owner for violating the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule, which protects homeowners seeking mortgage help, and got the company shut down.
The FTC said that Wealth Educators’ false claims went beyond posing as a law firm. The company also promised homeowners they would get government-sponsored or other loan modifications — or full refunds if they didn’t.
But when people tried to reach Wealth Educators for status updates or refunds, they couldn’t locate them, the FTC says. The company had a habit of changing names and websites — and sometimes phone numbers and mailing addresses — about every six months to dodge its customers. Many people found Wealth Educators never contacted their lenders, and very few people got the promised refunds.
If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments, contact your mortgage servicer right away. If you’re considering a mortgage assistance company, know that the MARS Rule makes it illegal for a company to collect any fees until you get a written offer of relief from your lender and accept it. Read more about mortgage relief scams that could leave you in bad financial shape.