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Restitutions Ordered for Michigan Foreclosure Fraud Victims

Sept. 21, 2009 at 12:06 PM   |   Comments

Michigan homeowners who paid fees to three companies to help modify their mortgages—SaveMyHome USA, Payment Doctors, the Michigan Economic Reinstatement Program—or any other mortgage modification company for services that were not provided can contact the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection for restitution.

The companies offered mortgage modification assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure and claimed they would help homeowners by working with their lenders in an attempt to modify the borrower's mortgage. An undercover investigation by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's office discovered that the companies charged borrowers upfront fees, a practice prohibited by law. After paying the upfront fee, many borrowers found that the companies could not secure a modification and were subsequently unable to get their money back.

The three companies pleaded no contest to one count of violating the Michigan Credit Services Protection Act and agreed to provide the Attorney General's office with customer lists that will be used to determine how many customers are entitled to restitution for fees paid for services that were never provided. While the companies are based in Southeastern Michigan, it is believed they had customers around the state. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled in the next 30-60 days, during which companies could be subject to fines.

Attorney General Cox urges any consumers who paid fees to these or any other mortgage modification company for services that were not provided, to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at (877) 765-8388.

Cox has made prosecuting mortgage fraud a priority for his office. In 2008, Cox created a mortgage fraud unit, teaming with the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies to tackle consumers' complaints. Cox's office has charged 21 people or companies with a mortgage fraud-related offense in the last 12 months.

"Families already facing a foreclosure crisis should not have to worry about being ripped off in the process," said Cox. "This sends a clear message to scam artists that we are watching."

Attorney General Cox has made prosecuting mortgage fraud a priority for his office. In 2008, Cox created a mortgage fraud unit, teaming with the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies to tackle consumers' complaints. Cox's office has charged 21 people or companies with a mortgage fraud-related offense in the last 12 months alone.

From Real Estate Economy Watch.

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