Corvus Law Group is mailing ads to Idaho homeowners inviting them to join scam lawsuits against their mortgage lenders. The ads look like government forms and claim homeowners can get large principal reductions or other monetary relief if they join the lawsuit.
The ads, which appear to be “notices,” may be mailed to homeowners or posted on their doors. Typically, the business asks for a “retainer fee” and may ask homeowners for their credit card numbers or offer to set up a weekly payment plan.
State and federal laws prohibit companies from charging upfront fees for foreclosure rescue or mortgage modification services. Beginning September 1, 2011, it is unlawful for a person to charge a fee, upfront or otherwise, for these services, unless the person offering the service is licensed with the Idaho Department of Finance or exempt from its licensing requirement.
Homeowners who are having difficulties paying their mortgage loans may qualify for a mortgage modification and can visit the federal government’s website at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov for an application packet. Homeowners who are having difficulties communicating with their mortgage loan servicers about their loans can call the Attorney General’s housing specialist at (208) 334-4536 for assistance.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden issued the warning.
“The scam is a pretext to collect an unlawful $5,000 upfront fee from homeowners,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The representations in the solicitations are false and are designed to prey on vulnerable homeowners. My office is currently investigating this company.”
“I encourage homeowners who have lost money to this business or other mortgage rescue companies to file complaints with my Consumer Protection Division,” Wasden said. Complaint forms are available at www.ag.idaho.gov or by calling (208) 334-2424.
The Attorney General’s Office recently updated its consumer education manuals regarding home buying and foreclosure prevention. The manuals are available at www.ag.idaho.gov.