Wisconsin AG Jumps Into Fray With Civil Charges Against Alleged Loan Modification Racket Currently Under FBI Probe, Targeted By Other States
In Dane County, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
- A California company offering to help distressed homeowners lower their mortgage payments has been sued by the Wisconsin attorney general's office for violating state law. In a civil complaint filed [...] in Dane County Circuit Court, the state accuses 21st Century Legal Services Inc., of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., of instructing notaries it used to do business in Wisconsin not leave copies of signed agreements with customers and to obtain fees in advance of providing service. Both of those actions are against the law in the state, the lawsuit alleges.
- The lawsuit also says the company violated Wisconsin's no-call law, made misrepresentations in the course of conducting sales and failed to disclose the names of representatives making face-to-face solicitations. The lawsuit cites an instance in which 21st Century Legal Services sent a representative to the home of a Wisconsin woman in May about a loan modification. She paid $1,866.70 for the service but never heard from the firm or its representative again. Her loan was never modified and her home now is in foreclosure, the lawsuit says.
For more, see State sues company that offers help to distressed homeowners.
From the Wisconsin Department of Justice:
- Lawsuit: State of Wisconsin v. 21st Century Legal Services Inc., et al.,
- Press release: Attorney General Sues Loan Modification Company.
In a related story on 21st Century Legal Services, see NBC Los Angeles: Scam Alert: Beware of Loan Modification Fraud (21st Century Legal Services, Fidelity National Legal Services under federal investigation):
- [T]wo ex-employees tell NBC that the majority of 21st Century clients never got their loans modified. [...] Complaints [...] caught the attention of the attorneys general in Ohio, Indiana, Arkansas and North Carolina. All four states banned 21st Century from doing business in their states. But authorities say 21st Century Legal Services changed its name to Fidelity National Legal Services and continued signing up new clients. Ex-employees say Fidelity was run out of the same office as 21st Century; was owned by the same woman, Andrea Ramirez; and even used the same ads to snare customers.