Companies impersonated law firms, fined more than $20 million
A series of “law firms” and the individuals who did business on their behalf are now banned from operating in the mortgage business, after the Federal Trade Commission found that the companies were falsely promising financially distressed homeowners they would receive legal representation to prevent foreclosure or lower their mortgage payments and interest rates.
Typically, mortgage justice comes from the Securities and Exchange Commission; it’s a rarity for the FTC to step in.
According to the FTC, Edward William Rennick III, Surety Law Group and Redstone Law Group agreed to be banned from selling secured and unsecured debt relief products or services, prohibited from misrepresenting any financial products and services, and from violating the Do Not Call Registry rules, as part of a settlement.
FORGED SVP Deborah Everly Bill of Sale, Assignment and …
Great example. CFPB and FTC need to investigate this..
Asset Acceptance is a debt buyer which means that its primary business is the purchasing of defaulted debts from lenders and subsequent collection of those debts through normal debt collection activities.
Jan 30, 2012 – In addition, the company, Asset Acceptance, LLC, has agreed to tell consumers whose debt may be too old to be legally enforceable that it will …
Jan 31, 2012 – the Complaint herein; Defendant, Asset Acceptance, LLC, has waived service of the Summons and Complaint; the parties have been …
Sep 9, 2015 – Its subsidiaries also named in today’s action are Midland Funding LLC, Midland Credit Management, and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp.
Three Democratic Senators are concerned about the impact of short-term home rental companies like AirBnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and Flipkey on communities’ housing markets and want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.
In a letter sent Wednesday to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass; and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif; state that they are especially concerned that short-term rentals are not only making housing more expensive in certain communities, but also making it harder to buy a house in the first place.
“We are concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities,” the Democrats write in their letter.
Debt collectors allegedly told a consumer’s 84-year-old mother they had a warrant for her daughter’s arrest in one case. They told another she wouldn’t be able to see her children. A different collector allegedly kept harassing consumers over outstanding payday loans it had acquired, even after it was told by the seller the debts were invalid.
All the firms who allegedly took part in those practices are out of or temporarily banned from the debt collection business, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. As part of its Operation Collection Protection, the agency announced a crackdown involving 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state and local authorities.
“Being in debt is stressful enough for manyAmericans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a prepared statement. “Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior.”
One of the cases involves a KIP LLC, run by a married couple in Aurora, Ill. The FTC says Charles and Chantelle Dickey threatened and intimidated consumers to pay payday loan debts they either did not owe, or did not owe to the defendants.
Green Tree to Pay $48 Million in Borrower Restitution and $15 Million Fine for Servicing Failures
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took action against Green Tree Servicing, LLC, for mistreating mortgage borrowers who were trying to save their homes from foreclosure. The mortgage servicer failed to honor modifications for loans transferred from other servicers, demanded payments before providing loss mitigation options, delayed decisions on short sales, and harassed and threatened overdue borrowers. Green Tree has agreed to pay $48 million in restitution to victims, and a $15 million civil money penalty for its illegal actions.
“Green Tree failed consumers who were struggling by prioritizing collecting payments over helping homeowners,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “When homeowners in distress had their mortgages transferred to Green Tree, their previous foreclosure relief plans were not maintained. We are holding Green Tree accountable for its unlawful conduct.”
The CFPB continues to ramp up its enforcement actions and its collaboration with state AG offices as part of the new “Operation Mis-Modification.”
The CFPB, the FTC and fifteen states announced a series of lawsuits against what they characterize as “foreclosure relief scammers.” The CFPB filed three lawsuits against individuals and companies – all law firms or associated with law firms – seeking compensation for victims, civil fines and injunctions. The FTC filed six lawsuits. And, in line with Director Cordray’s previous statements that the CFPB wascollaborating with state AG offices, the state AGs announced their intent to file 32 lawsuits. It is uncertain whether any of the state AG lawsuits will rely upon Section 1042 of Dodd-Frank, which, as we have previously reported, allows a state AG to bring a civil action for violation of the Dodd-Frank prohibition of unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP).
The CFPB alleges that the defendants used deceptive marketing to persuade thousands of consumers to pay them more than $25 million in illegal fees. The crux of the CFPB’s allegations are that these companies:
- Charged consumers with advance fees before obtaining a loan modification in violation of Regulation O (formerly known as the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule);
- Misrepresented in marketing materials the likelihood they would help a consumer save substantial sums in mortgage payments;
- Tricked borrowers into thinking that they would receive legal representation even though many borrowers never spoke with an attorney or had their case reviewed by one; and
- Misled consumers to believe they were eligible for a loan modification or they would receive relief within a few short months when the defendants had not contacted the consumers’ lenders or requested or obtained any meaningful relief for them.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi added her name to the list of states that filed a joint federal-state enforcement sweep targeting scam operations that prey on delinquent homeowners or those facing foreclosure.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states are filings 9 lawsuits against companies and individuals that collected more than $25 million in illegal advance fees with false promises to prevent foreclosures. The CFPB is filing 3 lawsuits, while the FTC is filing 6 lawsuits.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged CFPB, FTC