Apply 2 Save, a bankrupt Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, mortgage modification company that allegedly defrauded hundreds of consumers nationwide is prohibited from ever operating a similar business in Idaho. Derek Oberholtzer, owner of Apply 2 Save, entered a settlement agreement that prevents Oberholtzer from acting as a debt or credit counselor and prohibits him from engaging in mortgage lending, brokering, or modification activities within Idaho or with Idaho consumers.
Oberholtzer and Apply 2 Save were sued in April 2009, for allegedly accepting payments from consumers for services that they never performed.
In addition to banning Oberholtzer from doing business in Idaho, he is prohibited from obtaining a license to engage in any activity that the Idaho Department of Finance regulates. The settlement with Oberholtzer also incorporates the terms of the Federal Trade Commission’s consent decree with Apply 2 Save, Sleeping Giant Media, and Oberholtzer.
The Attorney General recovered $45,000 in restitution during his investigation of Apply 2 Save. The office will distribute the money to consumers who filed complaints with the office in 2008 and 2009. Consumers do not need to file new complaints or contact the office. Eligible consumers will receive restitution checks before the end of the year. Status updates regarding this settlement are available at www.ag.idaho.gov.
Apply 2 Save and Oberholtzer filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy soon after the state sued. Oberholtzer received a discharge of his debts in April 2010. Apply 2 Save‘s bankruptcy is ongoing. For information about Apply 2 Save‘s bankruptcy, consumers can call the court’s Voice Case Information System at 208-334-9386. If consumers have legal questions about bankruptcy, they should contact a private attorney. Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the Bankruptcy Court can answer these questions.
During the prior 16 months, the Attorney General has resolved five cases involving allegations of deceptive mortgage modification activities. The settlements resulted in more than 420 consumers receiving $84,110 in restitution.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made the announcement.
“Apply 2 Save operated for less than a year, signed up hundreds of clients, and took in millions of dollars,” said Wasden. “Yet few consumers ever received the mortgage modification services they purchased.”
“My office received more complaints about loan modification businesses last year than any other type of business,” Attorney General Wasden said. “With foreclosures still at record levels in Idaho, I encourage people facing foreclosure to use the free, professional assistance that is available. Most of the Idahoans we’ve heard from who paid for mortgage modification services have found that their situation only got worse.”
The Attorney General’s publications, Foreclosure Prevention and Foreclosure Scams: How to Tell the Difference, and Buying A Home are available free at www.ag.idaho.gov or by calling 208-334-2424 or 800-342-4535 in Idaho. The handbooks contain detailed information about free loan modification assistance and home financing options available to consumers.
The Attorney General also employs a housing counselor to facilitate communication between consumers and their mortgage servicers.