Foreclosure Relief Scam Touted ‘Mass Joinder’ Lawsuit

A federal judge has halted a $1 million operation that allegedly sold homeowners bogus mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue products, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which sought the shutdown.
The scam included falsely promising to get help for homeowners who joined others to file so-called “mass joinder” lawsuits against their lenders.
This is the FTC’s first case against alleged scammers who pitch these kinds of lawsuits.
The court’s order also freezes the operation’s assets and appoints a permanent receiver to run it while the FTC moves forward with the case.  The agency will seek money for possible refunds for consumers.
The FTC filed its complaint against Santa Ana, California-based Sameer Lakhany and five companies he controlled. Lakhany also did business using three websites, HouseHoldRelief.org, FreeFedLoanMod.org, and MyHomeSupport.org. The complaint charges that the defendants victimized hundreds of consumers with two related scams.
In one of them, the FTC said the operation masqueraded as a law firm, Precision Law Center, and sent out direct mail resembling a class action settlement notice.
The FTC said the notices made a false promise to consumers that if they sued their lenders along with other homeowners in so-called “mass joinder” lawsuits, they could obtain favorable mortgage concessions from their lenders or stop the foreclosure process.
“In fact, the defendants allegedly operated a sham law firm and only engaged attorneys briefly to file the lawsuits, after which either the defendants neglected the suits, or the suits were dismissed,” the FTC said.
Operators of the scheme charged $6,000 to $10,000 in advance, but failed to get the results they promised, the FTC said.
In its complaint, the FTC charged the defendants with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, now known as Regulation O.
The FTC has new advice for consumers faced with possible foreclosure on their homes. For more information see: Mass Joinder Lawsuits: A New Twist on Foreclosure Rescue Scams.

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