11 Apr Floridaâ€™s Attorney General sues illegal mortgage modification company
In Jacksonville, Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit against National Foreclosure Counseling Services, Corp. for charging up-front fees to customers seeking help modifying their mortgage. Florida legislators enacted the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act last October, forbidding any company from charging such a fee in Florida prior to services being rendered.
In response to the lawsuit, a judge has entered an order prohibiting NFCS, also known as American Foreclosure Counseling Center, from collecting any additional up-front money from clients.
Across the country, former mortgage brokers are now preying upon the same people they ripped off just a few years back. Back then, brokers were completing fraudulent loan applications and taking kickbacks (in the form of a yield spread premium) from lenders for charging home buyers higher interest rates than the rate for which they actually qualified.
Today, out-of-work brokers (and even real estate lawyers) are now going back to these same people, promising they can renegotiate with the new owner of the home loan. Often, home owners pay an up-front fee of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but in return, they often get nothing.
Keep in mind that, if you have been served with a foreclosure, you must respond to the complaint, regardless of whether you are working with your lender or not. Your lender will often use the â€œmortgage modification processâ€ as a distraction to keep you from actively defending your foreclosure.
Any homeowner served with foreclosure papers should immediately seek the advice of a lawyer who focuses in the area of foreclosure defense.
If you have been charged an up-front fee by National Foreclosure Counselling Services or American Foreclosure Counseling Center, contact Florida’s fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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