A company that deceived consumers with promises it could save their homes from foreclosure will pay $2.4 million to victims as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The case is part of the agency's continuing crackdown on scams that prey on financially distressed homeowners.
According to the FTC's complaint, Home Assure LLC conducted a nationwide marketing campaign designed to take advantage of struggling homeowners by offering so-called mortgage foreclosure rescue services. Home Assure typically charged consumers an up-front fee of $1,500 to $2,500. The company's representatives falsely claimed that its special relationships with lenders would enable it to get favorable loan modifications or stop foreclosure, and that the company had helped thousands of consumers avoid foreclosure.
According to the FTC, however, Home Assure did little or nothing to help consumers avoid foreclosure. In numerous instances, the company refused to pay refunds, despite promotional material that said otherwise. Home Assure sometimes claimed that consumers did not meet the terms of the contract for a refund or that they had breached the contract by contacting their lender or filing for bankruptcy. Other times, the company offered no explanation at all.
In addition to imposing the monetary penalty, the settlement order bans Home Assure from selling mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services.
SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission