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.

what laws were violated? we've been mislead by them as well.

The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule makes it illegal for companies that provide mortgage relief services to charge you before they’ve given you a written offer from your lender and you’ve accepted the offer. Here's more info about Mortgage Relief Scams. If this has happened to you, file a complaint about it at ftc.gov/complaint.

I also been scam by perferred law out of 3500 they do nothing but make a phone to your mortgage company once a month to see if you are in foreclosure I obtain my own modification on my own thru my lender perferred law wants to take credit for it by refusing to return my money.it was my lender that informed me they were scamming people I plan to fight them to make sure no one else it's scam we all need to contact the better business Bureau and all matters to seek an investigation on them

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice.

I was also scammed by Preferred Law! Paid them $3,900 for doing absolutely nothing positive for my loan modification. They actually delayed my sitch by 6 months causing my delinquency to total upto $40K causing us to lose our home of 15 years! They refuse to refund. Same promises made to me- lower interest rate to 2% and principal reduction since loan was upside down. I would like the FTC to stop these criminals!

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.

Hi, did you really find out if this Main Law Pc firm is in fact a scam? They have already taken money from my dad, and he is about to invest with them further, but after I started looking into it more, I came across this. Is there anyway you can help me???

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!

Dan, Did you work with Main Law PC? What was your experience. They just contacted my yesterday! anuything is helpful! Please I do not want to lose my house - thnak you very much!

Cathy - thank you very much for starting this thread. Please provide more information. Did you or anyone dealt with Main Law PC succesfully? Appreciate all the help. I was just contacted by them yesterday!

I just found out that someone lost $3500 with Main Law Group and they never asked them to sign any documents, wonder if they ever did anything at all?!

Main Law charged me $3500. Summited incorrect information to my lender, said I was denied and is not responding to my request of a partial refund.

All I have to say is DON'T DO IT! I had one loan mod go through with another company 5 years ago, but this time it was a bad experience all the way around. So many mistakes and errors and lies. Save your money and keep looking for REAL legitimate help!

Call 1-888-995-HOPE for free personalized advice from housing counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This national hotline – open 24/7 – is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage industry members and HUD-certified counseling agencies. For free guidance online, visit www.hopenow.com.

Also, check out the federal government’s Making Home Affordable website for information on mortgage modification programs.

My parents got false promises from Main Law, Pc.... Now they are out $16,000. Fits any one know if any place that can help us out with this. Thank you

If your parents are having trouble paying their mortgage or they've gotten a foreclosure notice, contact the lender immediately. They may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule. They also may contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization that operates the national 24/7 toll-free hotline (1.888.995.HOPE) with free, bilingual, personalized assistance to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure. If you think they've been victims of foreclosure fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission or your state Attorney General's office.

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?

Has anyone been helped by Main law group with their mortgage?

Im working with Main law and will post a new comment as soon as I talk to them today. I have a comment all ready typed and ready to post, just want to give them 1 last chance to make good on their Principal Reduction request.

Main Law is a scam. They make unbelievable promises that they cannot keep. DO NOT USE OR TRUST THEM.

This is a scam. We should start a class action lawsuit. They stopped answering my calls and sent them to an answering service. I should have known something was wrong when I got a "google" voicemail. They are very slick. They say on the very last page of the contract that once you get your modification or DENIAL FROM YOUR LENDER they have fulfilled their contract even though they verbally say that they can get you a modification.

hi.. ii am just waiting for my refund.. if this week i did not get my refund i will be one of you...i will keep you posted

I paid them almost $800.00 without doing anything... that js an easy money for them.. they did not even start the work.. they said they talk on the phone talking to the lender.. and that $995 .oo to stop the auctioned.. they told me they can stop the auctioned.. oh my ..please.. dont be stupid like me..please... dont let your house get foreclose ..by trusting this company.. you rather do it yourself... they just want an easy money.. easy job... ,wish all of us who was fooled by this company be one.. so this scam can ve stopped! and foreclosure can be stopped!

Oh God!!we're being working with main law pc and we have paid them $3380, they called me once a week to let me know how everything was going and a couple weeks ago I received a call from them telling me that my mortgage refinance was aproved , but today I got a lette from the bank saying that the attorney office had said they are not longer representing us and that they will return the mortgage to the original status, I'm very nervous right know cuze main law pc won't answer or return my calls.

I was also scammed by this firm.....they are extremely unethical.....I asked them to help me refi my loan....they said they would. Yet they took my case as a modification and did not tell me. As a firm that specializes in modifications, they should have seen from my economic status and work history that we did not qualify for a modification....after I complained they went dark on me......This firm is a rip off...do not use them

I was contacted by Preferred Law and they said they could get my interest rate down to somewhere in the 3% range but I first had to be delinquent on my mortgage and then pay them $3900.00. I'm assuming this is a huge scam, has anyone had good luck with this company? The BBB rating link provided in their email signature is old, from 2011. Anyone's thoughts please....

$4000 down the drain! Not only did I say it was a scam up front, but they are crocks in the worst way and I fell for it. Shame on ME! If you have any way of backing out before they do anything for you, ask for a refund. Myself and a co-worker both got scammed. The calls started right away and then ended just after the decline, no one would return my calls, then several month out of the blue, Tom Edfwards calls me and askes for 2 months bank statments and 2 paycheck stubs as if we were doing this again. I have my BK lawyer stopping the forecloseure that som,e how strared when Main Law did the modification, but thats another whole mess. My lein holder started to reach out to me again to stop the foreclose process even though we have never missed a payment in the last year.

The process is broke and the crooks know it! James Conkey, Main Law PC, and his associates are the crooks.

oh my.. we are on the same boat... i wish.. distressed homeowners will not use this company.. they will loose their house no matter what ... and they will loose their money because they will ask money right away.. without doing anything.. and when you asked for refunds.. they will deduct almost 3/4 of the money you have paid... easy money for the crooks.... wish all of us whi are scammed by these scammers get together...

I was contacted by the Law Offices of James Conkey. I wanted to modify my loan, and contacted them through the mailer they had sent. After speaking with staff, we decided to proceed and they sent me via e-mail the contract to begin this whole process. The cost was going to be $3,980. First payment needed to be deposited into an account with Bank of America. I was in line to make the deposit, and I noticed that I needed the address of the law office (left it at home). When I did a search on my phone, all this information came up. I got out of line and went back home. I called them, and they told me that Conkey was a victim of identity theft, and others in the office were not even aware of this (over 1 year ago). I told them of my reservations, and then I asked them to provide me with a business license. They said they would get me that information later that day, and it came the following day. I called the City of Costa Mesa Business License Dept. and they confirmed that they had just applied on line and have not paid for the license. I looked them up on Google, and the building had other business names. Called the business, and they confirmed that they had just moved out as of the 1st of this month. Yet, they just applied for a license. I just sent them en e-mail letting them know of what I have found out and that I will pursue this matter...

This year we paid Main Law $4000.00. For a loan assistance that was verbally promised to us. The loan Modoc never went through. The only way we found out was from our Lender. Once Main Law was paid in full they never contacted us one time in regards to the status of our loan. We have yet to hear from them. They are a scam do not use their services. Rich getting rich off those of us in need.

they did the same thing to me took my money made promises and didn't come through

Is Tom Edwards a person from pc law. We paid close to 4K to get our loan modified around 5 months ago
and all we got is a forclosure notice and since we used part of our mortgage money we have fallen beind in our mortgage. please anybody with info!!

oh my so sad that we lost our house because of this people... thats what I have told them... if they only told us that they cant handle the case.. ,...

l was ripped off by the following companies,a,r,i
oyster bay beach resort concord servicing lnc.pearl development nv.lnterval lnternational sterling bank and trust co.

NATIONAL SERVICING CENTER mailed me a government letter stating I was eligible for a government credit towards a approved loan modification, then they told me the credit was only for 2000 and that i had to pay 3000 to the servicer to finalize my loan modification approval, i paid them 3000 and never heard back - they have blocked me from calling them and not returning any of my calls or refund request I found out later they are ripping people off on the internet....please contact me so i can send you copy of the mail piece and all other information i have. they scammed me off 3000 dollars right before christmas and my house is foreclosing my lender doesnt not reconize their name!!! NATIONAL SERVICING CENTER 8004748410

National Servicing Center based out of California has scammed me out of $3995! They told me after 5 months that my lender does not participate in loan modifications. They are refusing to refund the fee that I paid up front. I could go on and on about this company. They were a nightmare from day one. Incompetent employees and absolutely no return phone calls or follow-up. I filed a complaint with the BBB and FTC. Please do not be fooled by their scam!

Hello I sent them two payments of 1500 hundrend dollars I just got a foreclosure letter from my lender my lender said they got a fax from them but I need to have a release form so they can talk to them but I have not heard back from national servicing center in 3 weeks what do I do next please help

You don't have to pay any money until the company delivers the results you want. It's illegal for a company to charge you a penny until it gives you a written offer for a loan modification or other relief from your lender and you accept the offer.

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) with free, personalized assistance to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure.

You can file a complaint about a mortgage scam with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and iwith your state Attorney General.

I am sorry, but this company is a scam. As stated previously, I sent them $3995.00. I was told that my modification did not go through in April 2015, and they have not refunded anything to date. I sent them two separate checks in January and February 2015. They will no longer answer the phone, and the website is down. I filed a complaint with the CA BBB, FTC, CA AG and TX AG. I do not know what else to do. It is my understanding that NCS is doing this across the U.S.

You can call 1-888-995-HOPE for free personalized advice from housing counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This national hotline – open 24/7 – is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage industry members and HUD-certified counseling agencies. For free guidance online, visit www.hopenow.com.

National Servicing Center is definitely a rip off. We gave them $4200 and I am losing my home in 2 months. They also blocked my calls and now I am trying to figure out how to do something about them scamming us. The last person I talked to was name Gabby Syam but I thought she sounded a lot like the person I spoke to previously.

You can file a complaint about a mortgage scam with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and iwith your state Attorney General.

No DO NOT use them they do not help they only take your money send in incorrect info then say sorry your modification did not go through THIS place is a joke Thomas told me he was the manager and would not resubmit my papers after Mr Conkley said he would Thomas said he makes
the decisions and does not call back. YOU'LL be SORRY I filed complaint wirh the state board

All I can say to anyone considering using a third party to do their loan modification is to be very, very wary. If you read the forms closely enough you can do your own modification. And NEVER get behind on your mortgage just to try to qualify. A lot of times if you are approved that debt is added back into the loan and many times you're required to make higher payments in the beginning to make up for the debt. And of course there's the scenario where you aren't approved and are given a deadline to catch up your mortgage or deal with the foreclosure process. Most third parties who charge upfront know what to say to try to get your money, but once things go south they instead say the charges are for their "legal advice" and not necessarily a loan modification. There is absolutely no way a company specializing in loan modifications can know upfront what type of modification you will receive. Many hope you exaggerate or even just slightly slip when explaining your financial situation in the beginning, that way when you're denied they can place the blame back on you. From my experience some "loan negotiators" have little to no finance experience and are following the simple training they received. Without the needed knowledge and experience from these representatives, your modification alone is at high risk. Banks have already caught onto the fact that many of these company's representatives lack the experience of their employees and use this to possibly outsmart your "representation" and deny your application. AND if your loan modification company runs out of ideas and recommends you file bankruptcy, HEAD FOR THE HILLS! It's almost guaranteed they don't really understand the true impact of filing bankruptcy on all of your other personal affairs and they may not even be licensed to be giving you that advice in your state. There are a lot of scams out there. The saying, "if it's too good to be true, it is," has stuck around for a reason.

Main Law P C Law Officces of James Conkey are a scam. These people will take your money and keep on taking it untill you loose your house. Do not trust them if you get a card from them in the mail report it. I hope that it's not too late to save my house due to these scum !!!

national servicing center,,,,,, I received the offer letter that appears to be a goverment review notice,,,,, however it turns out to bea scam after research and understanding more about HAMP and MARS and the leagal requirement and that third party assistance is not necessary. I have been spared from giving away over 3000.00 for a loan modification that would likely never go through and would result in being futher behind in my mortgage payment. Thank you for all information provided. Also they are not BBB accredited.

We paid these scam artist over 5,000 dollars. Tom edwards is the person we delt with and Sarah Peters, Maricela Perez trying to call them because now we may loose our house. There phone number is not working and we also tried all the email addresses sent emails they were rejected all of them I am hysterical... rejected

We paid these scam artist over 5,000 dollars. Tom edwards is the person we delt with and Sarah Peters, Maricela Perez trying to call them because now we may loose our house. There phone number is not working and we also tried all the email addresses sent emails they were rejected all of them I am hysterical... rejected

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

The system will prompt you to answer a few questions and at the end, you will have an opportunity to express in your own words what happened. You can write in that section the same comment you left here and law enforcers will see it.  If a trend is detected the company could be investigated.

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l had not heard anything from f.t.c.or anybody else.

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