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Attorney General Bob Ferguson sues deceptive mortgage rescue firms
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed lawsuits against two mortgage rescue scammers that target struggling homeowners in Washington state.
Ferguson alleges Delay My Sale Date and US Recovery Program have taken advantage of homeowners by falsely promising they can delay or prevent foreclosure.
The two lawsuits are part of a joint federal-state sweep by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 15 states to crack down on mortgage rescue scams operating across the country. These scams take advantage of homeowners in crisis, wreaking havoc on the victims’ finances, and often leaving them at an even greater risk of losing their homes.
“As long as mortgage rescue scams threaten Washington homeowners, my office will hold offenders accountable,” said Ferguson. “These fraudulent operations not only victimize people who need help, they also harm legitimate businesses that play by the rules. Consumers need to know that foreclosure assistance is available from legitimate service providers.”
The Attorney General’s Office encourages all homeowners who are facing foreclosure to call a certified home counselor for free help at 1.877.894.HOME (4663).
Overview of US Recovery Program lawsuit
The AGO alleges US Recovery Program poses as a government program. The company promises consumers in foreclosure that it can negotiate a better mortgage and prevent foreclosure.
After homeowners send their financial information to US Recovery Program, the firm falsely tells the homeowners that their bank has approved their modified loan.
US Recovery Program instructs the homeowners to send their “trial plan payments” directly to it, instead of the lender, and keeps the money without ever providing any relief or assistance.
Overview of Delay My Sale Date lawsuit
The second scam operates online via the website www.delaymysaledate.com. Delay My Sale Date promises to delay foreclosure proceedings by sending letters and demands to lenders and foreclosure trustees. However, the firm misrepresents the legal effects — and effectiveness — of its services. Although the company advertises a “100% guarantee of services,” homeowners who pay their fees receive no real help and no refund.
AGO obtains Temporary Restraining Orders in both lawsuits
Along with the Washington AGO, FTC, CFPB and Washington Department of Financial Institutions, attorneys general from the following states participated in today’s sweep: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. The Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation is also participating.
More than two dozen lawsuits and enforcement actions are being filed nationwide.
The Washington Attorney General’s cases are being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Benjamin Roesch, Jake Bernstein and Marc Worthy.