Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NC AG Targets Three Outfits, Principals In Civil Suits Alleging Loan Modification & Forensic Loan Audit Ripoffs

From the Office of the North Carolina Attorney General:

  • Three North Carolina companies that claim to help people win lower mortgage payments and save their homes from foreclosures are instead ripping off homeowners and must be shut down, Attorney General Roy Cooper said [].
  • As alleged in the complaints filed [last week]:

    Community Mortgage Assistance Program and its principal, Koy Chiu, charge consumers as much as $1,500 in advance and claim to have a 98 percent success rate in saving people’s homes. But consumers who pay the fee get little or no real help working out a loan modification. Chiu falsely promotes the company as a “faith-based organization” on gospel radio and in written materials to target religious homeowners and make the company seem trustworthy.

    Lender Exchange and its principals, Kenneth McCurd and Tanya Wilson, charge consumers one month’s mortgage payment and falsely claim that they’d never had a homeowner lose their home to foreclosure. The company tells prospective customers it will provide a full refund if it isn’t able to obtain a loan modification, but homeowners who’ve paid Lender Exchange and not gotten any meaningful help have had a hard time getting their money back.

    Tidewater Financial and its principal, Elaine Madej, charge homeowners $700 to $1,000 in upfront fees and promise consumers a “legal review” of their loan documents to determine whether lenders have violated state or federal law. However, Madej is not an attorney and the company has no legal expertise on lending laws--nor do its services actually help homeowners. According to one consumer who filed an affidavit in support of Cooper’s lawsuit, Madej kept claiming she was working out a loan modification even as his home was sold at auction and his family was evicted by the Sheriff.

    The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received eight complaints about Lender Exchange, including some forwarded by the Better Business Bureau and Legal Aid of NC, and four complaints each about the Community Mortgage Assistance Program and Tidewater Financial. [See also: affidavits filed by consumer victims against Community Mortgage Assistance ProgramLender Exchange, and Tidewater Financial.]

    More than 1,000 consumers have complained to Cooper’s office about various foreclosure assistance and loan modification scams over the past five years. To file a consumer complaint, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or fill out a complaint form at www.ncdoj.gov.
For the North Carolina AG press release, see Cooper Takes Aim At Foreclosure Fraudsters In Charlotte And Wilmington (AG seeks to shut down loan modification scams, win consumer refunds).

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