Homeowners facing foreclosure across the nation were fooled into paying money out, all while getting nothing back in a recent Foreclosure Scam. After winning a court order, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and shut down the entire operation, calling it a “massive fraud.”
The foreclosure rescue group was known as both HOPE Services and HAMP Services, targeting financially distressed homeowners. Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection defined the scheme as “shameful mortgage frauds.”
“These defendants stole mortgage payments from struggling homeowners, and they pretended to be a nonprofit working with the government,” Ms. Rich further stated. Nearly $2 million was lost by homeowners, according to the FTC lawsuit. In certain cases, victims paid the equivalent to several mortgage payments to the false mortgage relief enterprise.
Homeowners were lured in with a letter sent to them, explaining how they might qualify for help from the “New 2014 Home Affordable Modification Program” (HAMP 2). The letter even displayed what appeared to be an official government seal. FTC described HAMP 2 as “an aggressive update to Obama’s original modification program,” stating that the banks had received incentive from the government to lower interest rates. The operation then collected financial information from the victims, boasting about their high success rates for getting loan terms modified, according to the FTC complaint.
FTC also said that they advised victims that their application would be submitted to the “Making Home Affordable” (MHA) program, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. An actual MHA application was used in the operation, but it failed to include the warning page, addressing foreclosure rescue scams.
Following the application process, victims were advised they had been approved for a lower interest rate with lower payments. Safety from foreclosure was promised by the alleged Advocacy Department, after three “trial payments” were made as well as other possible fees. Victims were even advised not to speak to their lender or lawyer.
The monies received were never sent to the lenders and the modification never took place. As a result, people were falling further behind on their mortgage, incurring additional penalties and interest. According to the FTC, some even lost their homes.
Several federal laws were violated by the defendants, including the FTC Act, FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, and FTC’s Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule. Listed defendants include Chad Caldaronello (aka Chad Johnson and Chad Carlson); C.C. Enterprises, doing business as HOPE Services, Justin Moreira (aka Justin Smith, Justin King, and Justin Mason); Derek Nelson (aka Dereck Wilson); D.N. Marketing doing business as HAMP Services; and Brian Pacios (aka Brian Kelly and Brian Berry).
Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.