Thursday, November 17, 2016

NY AG Reaches $1.6 Million Settlement With NYC Outfit That Allegedly Peddled Ineffective Loan Modification Services, Forensic Loan Audits; Scheme Routinely Targeted Hispanic Homeowners Desperate To Avoid Foreclosure, Failing To Provide Substantial Relief

From the Office of the New York Attorney General:
  • Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman [] announced a $1.6 million settlement with Queens-based American Hope Group, Inc. and its principal, Mauricio Villamarin Martinez (collectively “American Hope Group”), following an investigation into a fraudulent mortgage rescue scheme that preyed upon financially vulnerable Hispanic homeowners who were desperate to save their homes from foreclosure.

    The AG’s investigation found that American Hope Group collected millions of dollars in monthly fees from consumers, yet routinely failed to deliver on its promises to provide substantial relief from unaffordable mortgage payments through loan modifications and other forms of foreclosure prevention. The settlement, a Consent Order, concludes the AG’s investigation into American Hope Group’s mortgage rescue scheme.
    ***
    American Hope Group generated millions of dollars by inducing homeowners to pay an illegal upfront fee of $2850, followed by a recurring monthly fee of typically $695, by misrepresenting the likelihood of obtaining a loan modification, principal reduction, lower interest rate, or other foreclosure relief if homeowners utilized American Hope Group’s loan modification and audit services. American Hope Group misrepresented that it was a leading organization in mortgage restructuring and that it had obtained millions of dollars in mortgage modifications.

    Through its advertisements in Spanish-language newspapers, direct mail solicitations, and website, American Hope Group vigorously promoted the use of forensic and securitization audits as a means to identify errors in mortgage loan documents, defend against foreclosure, and win concessions from mortgage servicers. Although American Hope Group charged consumers thousands of dollars for these audits, the audits typically had very little value at all.
    ***
    If you believe you were a victim of American Hope Group, or if you believe you were a victim of another mortgage rescue scam, please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. Complaint forms are available here. You may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-771-7755.
For more, see A.G. Schneiderman Obtains $1.6 Million Settlement With Queens Company That Targeted Hispanic Homeowners In Fraudulent Mortgage Rescue Scheme (A.G. Investigation Found Company Charged Illegal Upfront Fees, Urged Vulnerable Homeowners To Stop Making Mortgage Payments, Misrepresented Likelihood of Obtaining Loan Modification; Many Consumers Ultimately Forced Into Foreclosure Or Lost Their Homes As A Result Of Fraudulent Scheme).

Click here for the Spanish version of the AG press release.

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