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Loan Modification News
Loan modification activity, reports and legislation.

Mod Firms Targeted in 'Operation Loan Lies'

FTC, 23 states take 189 actions against loan modification firms

July 15, 2009

By staff

State and federal officials have launched "Operation Loan Lies" -- an effort targeting nearly 200 loan modifications firms for a number of alleged illegal practices including promising services they can't deliver, charging more than $5,000 in advance fees and misrepresenting their affiliations with mortgage servicers.

Federal and state agencies took 189 actions today against modification and foreclosure-rescue firms, the Federal Trade Commission announced. The coordinated actions were part of a national law-enforcement effort by 2 federal and 23 state agencies to crack down on loan modification scams.

Dubbed "Operation Loan Lies," the actions targeted firms that allegedly promised to obtain modifications or stop foreclosures -- though they did nothing. Advance fees charged by the firms were equal to one or more mortgage payments.

The defendants are also accused of failing to provide promised refunds.

Among the actions were four lawsuits file by the FTC, which is asking the court for consumer redress and a permanent ban on the deceptive practices.

The lawsuits were filed against Lucas Law Center, which charged advance fees up to $3,995 and told borrowers to stop making their payments; Apply2Save, where modifications were promised in 30 to 90 days for advance fees up to $995; US Foreclosure Relief, which falsely claimed years of experience; and Loss Mitigation Services, which charged up to $5,500 in advance, misrepresented its relationship with servicers and falsely promised to obtain a modification -- according to the FTC.

In all, the consumer protection agency said it has filed 14 lawsuits mortgage tied to foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams.

The FTC also reported a July 9 Stipulated Final Judgment against Foreclosure Solutions LLC and owner Timothy A Buckley. The company is accused of falsely claiming years of experience, falsely touting high success rates and violating the FTC's Do Not Call Rule by calling borrowers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Federal Trade Commission, The People of the State of California, and the State of Missouri v. US Foreclosure Relief Corp., a corporation, also, d/b/a U.S. Foreclosure Relief, Inc., Lighthouse Services, and California Foreclosure Specialists, George Escalante, individually and as an officer of US Foreclosure Relief Corp., Cesar Lopez, individually and doing business as H.E. Service Company, and Adrian Pomery, Esq., individually and also trading and doing business as Pomery & Associates.
Civil Action No. 09-CV-768,
FTC File No. 092 3120, July 7, 2009 (United States District Court Central District of California)

Federal Trade Commission v. LucasLawCenter “Incorporated”, a corporation, also d/b/a Lucas Law Center, Future Financial Services, LLC, a limited Liability company, also d/b/a Lucas Law Center, Paul Jeffrey Lucas, an individual, Christopher Francis Betts, an individual, and Frank Sullivan, an individual.
Civil Action No. 09-CV-770, FTC File No. 092 3127, July 7, 2009
(United States District Court Central District of California Southern Division)

Federal Trade Commission v. Apply2Save, Inc. a corporation, Sleeping Giant Media Works, Inc, a corporation, and Derek R. Oberholtzer, individually and as an officer of Apply2Save, Inc., and Sleeping Giant Media Works, Inc.
FTC File No. 092 3117, July 14, 2009 (United States District Court for the District of Idaho)

Federal Trade Commission v. Loss Mitigation Services, Inc., Synergy Financial Management Corporation, also d/b/a Direct Lender and, Dean Shafer, Bernadette Carr-Perry, and Marion Anthony (a.k.a. "Tony") Perry.
Civil Action No. 09-CV-800, FTC File No. 092 3073, July 13, 2009
(United States District Court Central District of California)

Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Foreclosure Solutions, LLC, and Timothy A. Buckley, Defendants.
Case 1:08-cv-01075, FTC File No. 072 3131,
FTC File No. 092 3120, April 28, 2008 (United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division)

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