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Loan modification scams claim more victims

Loan modification scams claim more victims

(Predatory Lending, Scams, Credit and Money Matters) Permanent link

Two national news reports show the devastating effects of loan modification scams.

MSNBC’s report of a Renton family who lost their home shows just how easy it is to fall victim of these scams. According to the report, the FBI has seen more cases of fraud against homeowners in the first quarter of this year then all of 2008. So far, there have been 560 indictments and 338 convictions nationwide.

The man at the podium speaking before a crowd is our own Assistant Attorney General David Huey. Huey spoke to about 200 attorneys earlier this month at a seminar offered by the Washington State Association of Justice, formerly known as the state Trial Lawyers Association. The purpose was to train local attorneys on how to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.

“Attorneys, the nonprofit community, law enforcement, everyone I talk to is putting out to the max, and still there are new complaints and new problems coming in the door,” Huey said.

ABC’s 20/20 spoke with employees of a California-based business called Peoples First Financial who said they were trained to make a hard sell and even lied to homeowners. The story also includes interviews with two families who signed up for assistance but didn’t get it. Among the victims: a doctor and his wife, a real estate agent, which supports our belief that it doesn't matter how educated or affluent you are, anyone can become a victim of a scam -- especially if they're desparate for help.

Let’s be clear: you don’t have to pay a bunch of cash up front for a loan modification. Free help is available.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 03/27/2009 03:58:23 PM | 

I have personally proceeding with successful loan modifications for some friends who fell under the guidelines. Having legal representation can be a big factor when fighting for the loan adjustment that you need to save your home. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S COMMENT: Link to a commercial Web site was removed from this post.]
Posted by: loan modification ( Email ) at 4/12/2009 12:02 AM

My husband and I fell behind on our mortgage payments due to job losses. One day we recieved a letter in the mail stating that we qualify for a loan modification. The company's name was [EDITED BY BLOG MODERATOR - NAME OF BUSINESS] and they claimed that they were lawyers who would negotiated with our lender to lower the principle on our property, get us into a 40 year fixed interest rate below 4% and they informed us not to pay our monthly mortgage payments until they resolved our loan modification with our lender. We payed their free close to $5,000 hoping that we would save our home and get the loan we should have gotten when we purchased our home in 2006. However, This was in December 2008, now in April 2009 my lender has informed my family that we are in foreclosure. The company who was called [EDITED BY BLOG MODERATOR - NAME OF BUSINESS] legal changed their name to [EDITED BY BLOG MODERATOR - NAME OF BUSINESS]and to this day claim that they have been working with our lender and give us a run around each time we call. My lender informed me that they received an incomplete packet and they closed our file in February 2009. The information they needed to continue we informed our supposed lawyers we didn't have in the beginning of this process, which of course they stated they didn't need. Now this company is not refunding my money and hang up on me when i call. They stole the money i need to come current on my monthly payments in order to save my family who consists of me, my husband and my one month old daughter from living on the street.... i need to know how can i get my money back?? who can help me?? how do i report this agency so that this so-called business doesn't steal from other families??? i need help please.... What can I do? [BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Jessica, Please file a formal complaint with our office.]
Posted by: Jessica Barnes ( Email ) at 4/15/2009 4:30 PM

I gave an up front ( which I now know to be a very large mistake ) payment to a company that said they would negociate a better rate for me. There recommendation was to not to cummunacate with my mortagage Co. But after two and half almost three months had past and this company not returning any phone calls or e-mails I called my mortagage co. and retracted there authorization and have laft phone and e-mail messages that they no longer repersant me and really never did anything to earn any of my money and if they would return it. My guess that they won't. WHAT ARE SOME STEPS I CAN TAKE TO GET THAT MONEY BACK ?
Posted by: Michael R. Bourassa ( Email ) at 6/3/2009 9:03 AM

Michael, I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. If you paid by check and it hasn’t cleared yet, you may still be able to stop payment. If you paid by credit card, you could make a “charge back.” If you paid by wire transfer, I’m sorry to say that you have been conned and it’s unlikely the money will ever be recovered.

I would encourage you to file a written complaint with our Consumer Resource Center. Click on “CONSUMER COMPLAINT” from any page at You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at

Our office may be able to mediate the complaint with the business. If unsuccessful, we will notify you of other options. Generally, that means hiring an attorney or obtaining legal aid, if you qualify. Complaints filed with our office can be helpful for formal investigations.

For legitimate help, visit or contact the Washington State Homeownership Information Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME (1-877-894-4663).
Posted by: Kristin Alexander, Blob Moderator ( Email ) at 6/9/2009 4:03 PM

As I read before, my husband and I were defraud for [EDITED BY BLOG MODERATOR - NAME OF BUSINESS], they advised us to stop our payments in order to modify our loan, and because I lost my job, we followed that advice. But first, we had to pay them $2,000 by credit card, and then they called us requesting a bounch of documents that of course we sent them ASAP. Also, they told us no to contact our lenders. However, after 5 months, we found that we are in the middle of a foreclosure, we tried to call them, and of course nobody answer. We contacted our lenders, and they said that this "magic company" did not do anything. So now, we are dealing with a foreclosure, and also we are paying a credit card for something that we never received. My question (almost I am begging you) is:
Is there any way that we can get our money back or at least let that people know that this company is a fraud. [BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: I'm sorry this happened to you. Please file a complaint with our Consumer Resource Center. They may be able to help resolve your dispute or can refer you to other resources. You can also find resources, including information about a new program that provides free legal guidance, on our our site at Lastly, you might be able to request a chargeback on your credit card.]
Posted by: Liliana ( Email ) at 6/19/2009 7:17 PM

Thanks for given this informative post...
Posted by: Home loan modification ( Email ) at 7/27/2009 3:15 AM

I fell behind in my mortgage and I contacted a mortgage company to try and get a refinance on my home. the loan officer that was working with me at the time told me that i was not eligble for the refinance because my equity in my home was not enough to refinance he then referred me to a person for a loan modifications through a law firm. I started the process of the loan modification and had given a deposit for the services and was due to pay the rest at the end of the modication. Two monts went by and then my mortgage company called me and stated they had never recieved any information from this company and they don't do loan modifications. immediatly i called the person i was working with and informd her on this she said they assured her that the modification was being reviewed and because of this she will send me back my money and since this time she has not picked up the phone to call or returned my calls i then contact the law firm she represented and she is not employed with this company nevertheless all the paperwork she sent me has this law offices heading and contact information. my question i would like to go after this person to get my money back and to file a compliant against her and also the perosn that referred me to her but i have no idea where to start
Posted by: monique ( Email ) at 12/16/2009 8:07 AM

Monique, It sounds like you may have been a scam victim. Please file a complaint with our office. You can file online at Provide as many details as possible, including the name of your loan officer who made the referral, the individual who offered the modification and the law office where she supposedly worked.
Posted by: Kristin Alexander, All Consuming Blog Moderator ( Email ) at 12/16/2009 12:03 PM

Online mortgage leads are those types of leads that received through the Internet and regarded as a great marketing strategy. Online leads are mostly secured through a network of online advertising and lead companies generally employ cutting edge technology to collect and compile these leads. There are many types of financial guide lines that are out there to buy but the mortgage leads that you will find to have the best quality are the ones that are acquired fresh by the mortgage lead company. A good broker will handle the follow-up and closing calls, making the most of the leads provided by the mortgage lead services. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S NOTE: A link to a commercial Web site was removed from this post.]
Posted by: FHA Home Purchase Leads ( Email ) at 12/30/2009 11:07 PM

i was scammed by certified mortgage audit cma made promises i paid got nothing now they wont answer my calls! [BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Yikes! Jan, please file a complaint with our Consumer Resource Center. They might be able to help. Although some of the outfits are outright scams.]
Posted by: jan miles ( Email ) at 9/18/2010 7:26 PM

We received a letter stating that we may be owed a refund on our mortgage...consumer analysis is available, etc. From what i've seen by googling this is a scam. I didn't know if i needed to send this letter on to the AG's office or just toss it. Please advise. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Delores, start by contacting your lender directly before you do anything else. Whatever you received sounds like a marketing pitch.]
Posted by: Delores Orcutt ( Email ) at 3/9/2011 4:51 PM

I have a complaint about a business . I suposely being help with modification they never 1 time keep- me inform what was going on. I have to call them ever time they tell me same thing were working on it . all of this started in aug.2013 I called chase and they finished the modification. NEVER GOT A THING FROM THEM. BUT THEY TOOK MY MONEY 1932. I WAS SUPPOSE TO PAY THEM PAY THEM 2908.00 but I held the last check they did not get a penny . thefirm is BUTLER AND ASSOCIATES 100 SOUTH MAIN ST SUITE 209B SAYVILLE NY THEY ARE SCAMERS GOT MONEY 4 DOING NOTHING PLEASE HELP ;
AGO Blog Comment Manager (lw): If you wish to file a complaint please visit our website at or you may contact our Consumer Protection Division at 800-551-4636 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday through Friday for assistance.
Posted by: connie boyles ( Email ) at 2/3/2014 9:15 AM

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