$114,542 will be distributed from the Homeowner Protection Fund to more than 112 victims of the Hope4Homeowners mortgage rescue scam.
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.
Help4Homeowners, an Oakland County mortgage rescue scheme, was charged in 2009 and convicted on three counts of violating Michigan’s Credit Services Act in Oakland’s 48th District Court before Judge Kim Small.
The charges against Help4Homeowners resulted from Attorney General investigation based on homeowner complaints. Help4Homeowners was charged with three 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 Bill Schuette announced the distribution of funds.
“These funds will help victims of the mortgage foreclosure cases we’ve prosecuted get their money back, when they would otherwise be left with nothing,” said Schuette.
“Homeownership is a fundamental part of the American dream. We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by mortgage foreclosure scammers and advocate for Michigan families.”