FTC Halts Mortgage ‘Audits’ Targeting Those Near Foreclosure

A U.S. district court has halted an operation that allegedly preyed on financially vulnerable homeowners, charging $1,995 or more for bogus mortgage loan audits, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The operation promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and renegotiate their mortgages, according to the FTC, which sought the court order.
Los Angeles-based Consumer Advocates Group Experts, company owner Ryan Zimmerman, and several other companies he controlled charged from $1,995 to $2,590 for the “forensic audits,” according to the FTC.
The company assured consumers in ads on their website www.consumer-advocates-group.com that:  “After our examinations, lenders suddenly get religion and become much more cooperative in renegotiating.”

Consumer Advocates claimed on their website that “up to 95% of mortgages may be legally unenforceable due to defects like lost documents, improper notices, appraisal and/or predatory lending.”
The FTC complaint alleges that consumers often did not receive loan modifications or reduced payments, and often found out from their lenders that the defendants either never contacted them, or did contact them but failed to follow up.
The court order stops the allegedly illegal conduct, freezes the operation’s assets, and appoints a receiver to run the business while the FTC moves forward with the case.
The FTC has advice for consumers about mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue scams.
For more information see Your Home and the publication Forensic Mortgage Loan Audit Scams: A New Twist on Foreclosure Rescue Fraud.

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