Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boston Feds Pinch Four Floridians Accused Of Ripping Off Homeowners Through Upfront Fee Loan Modification Racket

In Boston, Massachusetts, The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • Four Palm Beach County men were arrested [] after federal investigators said their loan modification company - called HOPE - took $3 million from thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure. The men are Christopher S. Godfrey, 42, of Delray Beach, Dennis Fischer, 40, of Highland Beach, Vernell Burris Jr., 51 of Boynton Beach and Brian M. Kelly, 34 of Boca Raton.

  • A 20-count indictment unsealed [] in federal court in Boston alleges that between January 2009 and May 2011, the company contacted struggling borrowers and falsely stated they had a 98 percent success rate in obtaining loan modifications. According to the indictment, an upfront fee of between $400 and $900 was charged for the company's services.

  • But in exchange for the fee, the company would send homeowners an application package nearly identical to what is available for free online from the federal Home Affordable Modification Program. The HOPE acronym is also widely used by the federal program and the indictment says the company wrongly used the government seal to mislead homeowners.

For more, see Four Palm Beach County men indicted in Mass. in alleged loan modification scheme.

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