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AGO News Releases with Topic: Mortgage
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed lawsuits against two mortgage rescue scammers that target struggling homeowners in Washington state.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington homeowners will share in $550 million secured for homeowners nationwide through a legal action against SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. by 49 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government.
Personal stories of NW families struggling to make ends meet and avoid foreclosure highlight the need for community involvement and support

At the request of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the King County Superior Court has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) requiring foreclosure trustee Cal-Western of Washington to halt its allegedly unfair and deceptive business practices.

Legal action taken by the Washington State Attorney General (AGO) against foreclosure trustee Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington (QLS) has stopped unfair and deceptive business practices. QLS is one of the largest foreclosure trustees in Washington state.

Personal stories of NW families struggling to make ends meet and avoid foreclosure highlight  need for community involvement to help Thurston County families stay in their homes

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions are pleased to announce the screening of the foreclosure documentary American Winter in Olympia, Wash.

$49M in principal mortgage reductions for struggling homeowners and $1,000+ cash payments to eligible foreclosed borrowers in Washington state 
 

Tougher mortgage servicing standards hold Ocwen accountable for past practices, ensure fundamental servicing reforms 
 

SEATTLE — Ocwen Financial Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia, and its subsidiary, Ocwen Loan Servicing, have agreed to a joint state-federal settlement with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 48 additional states and the District of Columbia, and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a Consumer Protection Act lawsuit against a Bellflower, Calif. company that preys on unsuspecting new property owners.

16,377 Washington state borrowers received relief

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that the five banks covered under the National Mortgage Settlement have reported providing over $1.2 billion dollars in consumer relief to Washington homeowners. As of June 30, 2013, according to the unaudited bank reports, 16,377 Washington state borrowers have received an average of $74,763 in consumer relief. This relief includes debt reduction loan modifications on first and second mortgages, lower interest rates on underwater mortgages, and transitional assistance for those unable to remain in their homes.

OLYMPIA—Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today urged the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to strengthen federal Military Lending Act (MLA) regulations to better protect servicemembers from abusive lending practices.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the latest report by the national monitor on the progress of five servicers subject to the National Mortgage Settlement shows success, but much work remains.
Borrowers who submitted a valid foreclosure payment claim through the National Mortgage Settlement will receive a check this month for approximately $1,480, much higher than the amount of $840 first announced.
In the year since state Attorneys General and the federal government reached a historic consumer protection settlement with the nation’s five largest banks, the banks report they have provided nearly $46 billion in gross relief to more than 550,000 borrowers, according to an independent monitor’s report released this morning.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined a group of state attorneys general and the U.S. Dept. of Justice in filing suit against Standard & Poor’s. The group alleges the credit rating agency misled investors with regard to structured finance securities backed by subprime mortgages that were at the center of the national financial crisis.
As part of the ongoing effort to address the national foreclosure crisis, Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced his office, 44 other Attorneys General and the District of Columbia have reached a $120 million multi-state settlement with Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) and its subsidiaries, LPS Default Solutions and DocX.  The office also settled with LPS-subsidiary, LSI Title, for activities as a foreclosure trustee in Washington.
National report shows Washingtonians have received $521 million in benefits, with more to come

SEATTLE – An independent report released today shows that more than 7,000 Washington state residents have received new loan terms because of last March’s national mortgage settlement.

SEATTLE – Thirteen Washington non-profit organizations will split the $43.8 million the state received to fund foreclosure relief as part of the landmark $25 billion national settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers announced in February.

The Washington State Attorney General's Office has settled a case with a trustee company formerly doing business in Washington for failing to comply with the state's laws.

SEATTLE – Pam Bailey is one of millions of Americans laid off during the Great Recession. The single mom found herself out of a job in 2007 when the bank she worked for merged with another. Her job search was severely complicated by the crumbling economy and bills started to pile up. Bailey missed two mortgage payments on her Kent home.

McKenna was in town promoting the Washington Homeownership Information Hotline, which connects struggling borrowers with counselors such as those at Apprisen. Today he repeated his warning that borrowers should stay away from those who offer potential loan modifications for an upfront fee, adding that such pitches come in email, phone calls and letters.

SEATTLE – Vianna Engel was determined to hold on to her home. “If I lose my property, my elderly mother loses her home, too,” Engel this week explained to a staff member at the Attorney General’s Office. Her mom’s single-wide mobile home sits on Engel’s property in Rochester. “She took care of me and I’m not going to let this happen to her.”

 

 State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams

BREMERTON –  Al Davis has never piled up credit card bills, avoids lines of credit  or even car loans. “I’ve always liked to save for what I want,” Davis this week told a staff member at the Attorney General’s Office.

 State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams

SPOKANE –  Alexa Young always made her mortgage payments “on time, every time.” Yet, like millions of Americans, recent events conspired to put pressure on the Spokane single mom’s budget, making her monthly mortgage payment harder to meet. After two expensive surgeries and a reduction in the amount of incoming child support, Young found herself at the breaking point. Her mortgage payment was nearly half of her monthly income, leaving barely enough for necessities. She contacted her lender in an attempt to work out new loan terms.

State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams

UNIVERSITY PLACE –  About a year ago, Irene Failor was on a ladder repairing her roof. Looking down, she watched a man walk up and nail a foreclosure notice to her house. 

VANCOUVER – “I just started to accept that I was going to lose the house I raised my kids in – that I thought I’d spend my final years in,” Vancouver’s Jim Fleming explains.

State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams

SEATTLE – The record $25 billion dollar national mortgage servicing settlement over alleged widespread mortgage fraud, negotiated by Attorney General Rob McKenna along with 48 state attorneys general and the federal government, is now finalized by court order.

SEATTLE – If history is any guide, scammers will surely try to take advantage of news of the largest consumer protection settlement in U.S. history.
 

SEATTLE – Nearly a year of intense negotiations over mortgage servicing and foreclosure abuses has resulted in the largest consumer financial protection settlement in U.S. history. Thousands of Washington state homeowners stand to benefit who have already lost their homes or are struggling with mortgages larger than the value of their property.

State AGs say proposed federal law goes too far

OLYMPIA – Attorney General McKenna today joined 53 other attorneys general in asking Congress to oppose legislation targeting consumers’ telephone privacy. 

Urges homeowners to use non-profit, approved housing counselors instead

SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today reminded homeowners needing assistance to avoid companies selling “foreclosure rescue,” “securitization audits” and other home loan modification schemes. 

SHORELINE – Proving once again its commitment to helping Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure, the Attorney General’s Office today provided an additional $550,000 to provide free housing counseling to distressed homeowners.

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that his office is suing ReconTrust Company, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for conducting illegal foreclosures on thousands of Washington homeowners.

SEATTLE – Programs to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and improve the lives of mental health patients and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases were recently awarded grants by the Attorney General’s Office.

 Also receives Kelley-Wyman award, AG association’s highest honor

CHICAGO – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna now leads the organization that combines the brain and fire-power of the states’ chief legal officers. McKenna became the president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) on Wednesday night, and simultaneously received the organization’s highest award.

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office cautions homeowners about paying to participate in a “mass joinder” lawsuit promising mortgage relief.

SEATTLE – Six months into its investigation into unlawful business practices by foreclosure trustees, the Washington Attorney General’s Office announced that it has uncovered an additional widespread problem that jeopardizes homeowners’ chances of stopping a foreclosure.

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and Scott Jarvis, director of the state Department of Financial Institutions, announced that they have joined attorneys general and banking regulators nationwide in forming a multistate group to investigate whether mortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or other documents related to foreclosure in their states.

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office has uncovered evidence that suggests foreclosure trustees are ignoring consumer protection laws in Washington, adding a new layer to a stack of problems reported in the mortgage-servicing industry. He sent letters today to 52 trustees outlining his concerns and calling on them to suspend any questionable foreclosures in the state.

OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today a settlement with Wells Fargo Bank that provides loan modifications for residents in Washington and seven other states who obtained problematic mortgages from Wachovia Bank and Golden West Corp., which did business as World Savings Bank.

OLYMPIA – Following concerted efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures, the Washington Attorney General’s Office and a group of other state attorneys general and banking regulators say they’ve seen improvements in programs designed to help homeowners. But they’re concerned that foreclosures continue to outpace loan modifications, and note that most modifications increase the loan balance.

 Penalties for repeat domestic abusers, restriction on child pornography among bills proposed by McKenna

OLYMPIA – Five laws proposed by Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna during the 2010 Legislative Session become effective today.

OLYMPIA – While the foreclosure crisis continues to swell, the Washington Attorney General’s Office is commemorating National Consumer Protection Week with the passage of a new law that shields families who have lost homes from further harm.

 Attorney General-sponsored bills survive the committee process with overwhelming support

OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna expressed his gratitude to state legislators today for allowing several AG-requested bills to be approved by key committees, setting the stage for final legislative approval.

OLYMPIA -- Four of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s public safety and consumer protection bills will receive hearings this week.

SEATTLE – There’s no place like home. For families struggling to make their mortgage payments, as well hundreds who already lost their homes, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna offered hope today: more than $1.8 million for local foreclosure prevention programs and cash for directly impacted consumers.

SEATTLE – One is seven U.S. homeowners is behind on his or her mortgage. Attorney General Rob McKenna will announce additional efforts to help prevent foreclosures in Washington during a press conference Thursday in Seattle. Joining him will be representatives from local nonprofit and legal programs working to assist homeowners.

Consumer protection bills alive, too; property rights bills die without a hearing

OLYMPIA — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s law enforcement bills have survived the first major hurdle of the 2010 legislative process.

OLYMPIA — Families who have lost their homes due to an inability to pay their property taxes are being targeted by individuals who want to take the little money they have left after the foreclosure sale. Legislation proposed by the Attorney General’s Office aims to protect these families from scammers and help them keep as much of their money as possible.

OLYMPIA – A group of state attorneys general and banking regulators predict a devastating acceleration of foreclosures unless policy makers step up efforts to assist homeowners. The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group issued a report Wednesday that cited disturbing trends including a rising tide of delinquent mortgages outpacing servicer outreach and loss-mitigation efforts. The report also offered recommendations for action.

 Bipartisan group of legislators join McKenna’s call to get tough on domestic abusers, criminals who exploit children or seniors 

OLYMPIA — When shocking crimes are committed by repeat offenders, members of the public often ask elected officials why they didn’t do more to keep those criminals off the streets.

OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will be joined by a bipartisan coalition of legislators on Monday as he rolls out his agenda for the 2010 legislative session.

OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna fears a rise in scam victims as struggling homeowners trying to tap legitimate payment relief programs are simultaneously solicited by charlatans. He said a meeting this morning between Obama administration officials and state attorneys general on mortgage fraud is further evidence that cross-agency cooperation is vital to protect homeowners.

In one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, attorneys from the public and private sectors are stepping up to lend a hand to struggling consumers.

OLYMPIA – Mortgage scammers and others seeking to prey on homeowners had better watch their backs. Attorney General Rob McKenna and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller are co-chairing a new State-Federal Task Force on Mortgage Enforcement which is an unprecedented partnership to target fraudsters.

SEATTLE – Nearly 1,000 Washington residents who lost their homes to foreclosure are a step closer to receiving some money to ease their pain, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.

SEATTLE – In the aftermath of the mortgage industry shakedown, a new type of bottom-feeder is chomping at homeowners struggling to keep up with their loan payments. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office joined the Federal Trade Commission and other states in a nationwide crackdown on foreclosure rescuers and loan modification businesses that charge hefty upfront fees and often provide no help.

SEATAC – The Washington Attorney General’s Office will hold a press conference at SeaTac Airport on Wednesday, July 15, at 12:30 p.m. to announce five new cases concerning loan modification and foreclosure rescue businesses that have solicited Washington homeowners, as well as additional initiatives that are part of a nationwide federal/state enforcement initiative.

SPOKANE -- Residents of a Spokane mobile home park were bewildered to learn they didn’t own the homes they live in. When an investigation by the Washington Attorney General’s Office revealed that the owner of West Prairie Village never properly transferred the titles, the business agreed to make things right.
OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), yesterday elected Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna as its vice president. McKenna will serve in this role through next summer, when he will become president-elect of the organization. He’ll assume the role of NAAG president in 2011.
OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), yesterday elected Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna as its vice president. McKenna will serve in this role through next summer, when he will become president-elect of the organization. He’ll assume the role of NAAG president in 2011.
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) is pleased to announce that its Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project is accepting clients. In response to the current foreclosure crisis in our state, the WSBA is partnering with the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) to provide free legal assistance to Washington residents in danger of losing their homes. The goal of the project, which will last through May 2010, is to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) filed a lawsuit Wednesday to recover more than $100 million in losses related to its purchase of investments from Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.
OLYMPIA – As state legislators prepare to head home, Attorney General Rob McKenna was gratified that many of his consumer protection, community safety, and open government priorities had been approved by the Legislature. Some have already been signed into law and others await the Governor’s signature.
SEATTLE--Attorney General Rob McKenna Monday announced a landmark settlement brokered by  Washington  and other states requiring sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to provide loan modifications for as many as 395,000 borrowers nationwide. As a result, nearly 10,000 Washington homeowners will receive about $200 million in payment relief.
SEATTLE--Attorney General Rob McKenna Monday announced a landmark settlement brokered by  Washington  and other states requiring sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to provide loan modifications for as many as 395,000 borrowers nationwide. As a result, nearly 10,000 Washington homeowners will receive about $200 million in payment relief.

OLYMPIA – Rising mortgage payments have paved the way for scammers who peruse foreclosure listings. Grasping at any offer for help, their victims have paid for false promises, been cheated out of equity and, in severe cases, were tricked into transferring ownership of their homes.

Now, in an effort to shelter consumers from equity skimmers, the Washington Attorney General’s Office is using those same listings.

SEATTLE – Approximately 200 Washington consumers who paid for a service that they thought would help save their homes from foreclosure will receive partial refunds under a new settlement announced today by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
OLYMPIA – December will be a bit more rewarding for 8,750 Washington residents. They’ll receive checks this month totaling nearly $9.9 million as part of a national settlement with former subprime lending giant Ameriquest.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna and Scott Jarvis, Director of the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), announced today that more than 12,000 Washington residents are eligible for an estimated $9.1 million in restitution from Ameriquest Mortgage Company and its related companies. The money comes from last year’s $325 million national settlement, in which states alleged widespread fraud by Ameriquest as part of a high-pressure scheme to sell mortgages that trapped consumers into debt and put them at risk of losing their homes.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against an estate property consignment business and its owner for allegedly failing to fully compensate customers for sold items and keeping unsold property. The company is located on the Olympic Peninsula and also does business online. The Attorney General’s Office filed a suit today in Kitsap County Superior Court, alleging violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act by Great Estates, LCC, of Port Orchard, and its owner, Alice Simpson, of Olalla. The company has also done business as Cornucopia Ailisia.

A loan officer convicted of stealing more than $44,000 from homeowners as part of a program to pay off their mortgages today received an exceptional sentence of 68 months incarceration, $70,600 in restitution and a $10,000 fine, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a settlement today with three Washington-based businesses and their owners accused of taking unfair advantage of homeowners and other property owners facing tax foreclosure. At the same time, the office filed civil charges against two other individuals connected to the case.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office has filed first-degree theft charges against a mortgage loan officer accused of stealing a check intended to pay for brokerage fees.
KENNEWICK – On May 25, a former mortgage loan officer was sentenced to nine months in jail and ordered to pay restitution of $13,500, plus costs for witness and attorney’s fees for stealing money and forging a promissory note.
Kennewick, WA – A former Kennewick loan officer, charged with stealing $9,000 from his former customers through an investment scheme, entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment today in Benton County. He was released on his own recognizance until trial.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna and the state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced a $325 million nationwide settlement with Ameriquest Mortgage Company. The agreement resolves allegations of widespread fraud by the company as part of a high-pressure scheme to sell mortgages that trapped consumers into debt and put them at risk of losing their homes.
Olympia, WA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Assistant Attorney General Dave Huey, and Chuck Cross, Director of Consumer Services for the Department of Financial Institutions, will be available by phone from Los Angeles on Monday to brief reporters on a multi-state settlement with Ameriquest. The briefing will provide background on the case, information about the terms of the settlement, and a description of how Washington consumers are affected.
TACOMA—The Attorney General’s Financial Crimes Unit Wednesday charged a Lakewood loan officer with stealing $900 in fees from his clients.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with six Everett- and Seattle-based companies that concludes an investigation into alleged deceptive estate planning sales tactics that targeted senior citizens.
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