The Department of Housing and Urban Development has alleged that three California foreclosure rescue companies targeted Hispanics with fake loan modifications, offering the false promise of mortgage relief in exchange for thousands of dollars. HUD announced that it is charging The Home Loan Auditors, Century Law Center and SOE Assistance Center with violating the Fair Housing Act by targeting Hispanic homeowners for “illegal or unfair loan audit and loan modification assistance because of their national origin.”
According to HUD, from 2008 to 2010 these three companies and nine of their agents lured struggling Hispanic homeowners into paying thousands of dollars for home loan audits that the homeowners never received and promised loan modification services that actually had little, if any, value. Allegedly, the companies exploited the homeowners’ limited English proficiency and used deceptive marketing in Spanish that included false representations, in order to mislead them into paying for loan modification services. The Home Loan Auditors allegedly created several Spanish-language promotional videos and other presentations that falsely presented the company’s ability to secure loan modifications.
“Families struggling to stay in their homes need real help, not false promises that make a bad situation worse,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take appropriate action against individuals and companies that victimize unsuspecting homeowners because of where they come from or the language they speak.”
HUD’s complaint also alleges that THLA directly solicited some consumers with Spanish-language letters replete with misleading information. Some of these letters instructed borrowers to stop communicating with their lender and stop paying their mortgage as well. HUD notes that until contacting THLA and engaging in its services, the borrower had been current on their mortgage and only fell behind in their payments when instructed to do so by THLA. All the affected homeowners ultimately lost their properties due to foreclosure.
Do you know anyone affected by any of these three companies?
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