Save My Home USA, Madison Heights, Michigan, has been charged with four counts of violating the CSA (43rd District Court, Oakland County). The company charged victims between $595 and $2,000 before completion of services and advised consumers not to communicate with their mortgage company;
Help4homeowners, Birmingham, Michigan, has been charged with three counts of violating the CSA (48th District Court, Oakland County). The company falsely claimed a 97% success rate, charged before completion of services, and its employee admitted they had no loan training.
Payment Doctors, Livoniao, Michigan, has been charged with two counts of violating the CSA (48th District Court, Oakland County). The suit alleges that the company made false claims and charged before completion of services.
Michigan Economic Reinstatement Program (MERP), Livonia, and owner Mark Alan Aloe, Farmington Hills, Michigan, was charged with four counts of violating the CSA and one count of unauthorized use of the Great Seal of the State of Michigan (47th District Court, Oakland County). The suit alleges that the company charged victims between $360 and $3,000 before completion of services, made false claims, and used business cards with state seal but did not work for the State of Michigan. Aloe faces 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Attorney General Mike Cox’s office has filed 18 charges against four companies and one individual for committing foreclosure rescue fraud. Cox also issued warnings to 17 companies regarding complaints from residents about their practices. Michigan law prohibits “foreclosure rescue” companies, which provide foreclosure advice, from making misleading or false statements, or charging service fees before any service is completed.
“Preying on residents in the process of losing their homes is not only shameful, it’s illegal,” said Cox. “Today we are sending a message that mortgage rescue fraud will not be tolerated.“
The charges resulted from the Attorney General’s office conducting undercover operations based on complaints from homeowners and include one count of unauthorized use of the Great Seal of the State of Michigan and 17 counts of violating Michigan’s Credit Services Act (CSA). The CSA prohibits charging fees before completing services when seeking to negotiate a loan on behalf of a homeowner. The Credit Services Act carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine, and allows the Attorney General’s office to seek restitution for affected consumers.
Misleading or false statements made by the companies included guarantees to prevent foreclosure and assertions consumers could avoid foreclosure regardless of their credit score, home appraisal, or debt to income ratio. Victims were charged between $595 and $3,000.
Attorney General Cox also sent letters to 17 other companies warning that their practices may be in violation of state law and requested more information about their business:
1. AFS Loan Modification Corp, Redondo Beach, CA
2. Apply 2 Save, Inc./Apply2Save, Coeur D’Alene, ID
3. Elect Group LLC, Deerfield Beach, FL
4. Equity Recovery Services, Towsen, MD
5. Federal Home Savers, Comniack, NY
6. Financial Solution Center, Corona, CA
7. Fresh Start Home Modification, Woodbury Heights, NJ
8. Fresh Start Program/Fresh Start Mortgage Assistance, Fresh Start Mortgage Solutions, Mortgage Assistance Solutions, Clearwater, FL
9. Hope Now Modifications, LLC, Cherry Hill Twp., NJ
10. IMC Financial, Clearwater, FL
11. Kirkland Young LLC, Miami Beach, FL
12. National Home Loan Assistance Program, San Diego, CA
13. New Hope Loan Modification, Bellmawr, NJ
14. Oceanview Investments, Oceanview Investment Services Corp., Fort Lauderdale, FL
15. Peoples First Financial, San Diego, CA
16. Pope & Associates Mortgage, Ontario, CA
17. Savemtg.com, Galthersburg, MD
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.