Freedom Companies Lending, Inc., Minnesota, is the subject of a cease and desist order for allegedly engaging in mortgage modification activities in Idaho without a license and targeting Spanish-speaking Idaho homeowners by unlawfully charging them large upfront fees.
Freedom Companies Lending goes by several different names, including “Freedom Financial Mortgage Corporation,” “Freedom Companies, Inc.,” and “Freedom Companies Marketing, Inc.”
The cease-and-desist order includes 30 counts of alleged violations of Idaho law by the so-called “Freedom” companies, including multiple acts of unlicensed activity and false or misleading advertising.
The Idaho Department of Finance and its Director Gavin Gee announced the issuance of the cease-and-desist order.
“These companies are not licensed to do business in Idaho, plain and simple,” said Gee. “If they try to get you to pay upfront for mortgage modification services, hang on to your pocketbook.” Gee said homeowners having difficulty paying their mortgage should not delay in seeking assistance from a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“We’ve had several Idaho homeowners report that they have lost a lot of money by responding to solicitations by these companies,” Gee said. “They seem to be targeting Spanish-speaking homeowners, and they use a Chicago mailing address.”
The Idaho Department of Finance offers homeowners relief information on its website (http://internet/Mortgage/ForeclosureResources.aspx). The department also has prepared a brochure to assist homeowners in avoiding foreclosure, listing phone numbers of HUD-approved housing counselors who offer free housing counseling. The department’s online brochure can be found at: http://finance.idaho.gov/Education/Documents/Foreclosure_Resources_Brochure.pdf.
Gee encouraged Idaho consumers to contact the Department of Finance at (208) 332-8000 or Idaho toll-free at 1-888-346-3378 if they receive a solicitation to pay upfront fees for mortgage modification services.