Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today announced that his office has taken action against four individuals at two firms who engaged in apparent fraudulent business practices in Colorado as part of his office’s efforts to crack down on mortgage and foreclosure fraud. Two of the individuals have agreed to a settlement.
“The problem of mortgage brokers falsifying consumers’ earnings or wrongly vouching for their abilities to pay back steep loans has undoubtedly contributed to Colorado’s foreclosure crisis,” Suthers said. “Loan modification and foreclosure rescue firms also have only exacerbated Colorado’s foreclosure crisis. These firms, like fraudulent mortgage brokers, prey on consumers’ hopes of owning their homes. The cases we are announcing today, as part of a nationwide mortgage-fraud sweep, underline out commitment to vigorously pursing the bad actors in Colorado’s mortgage and foreclosure marketplace.”
Firms targeted in Aurora, Greenwood Village
Since the last sweep in November, the Office of the Attorney General has taken legal actions against American Mortgage Consultant, an Aurora-based loan modification company, and its owner, Oliver Paul Maldonado ,37, and its principal employee, Santiago Fabian Pineda, 31. They are suspected of using deceptive trade practices to attract consumers to its loan-modification business. The firm also is suspected of collecting upfront fees from consumers for loan-modification services, which is illegal.
The attorney general’s office also has reached assurances of voluntary compliance with An T. Nguyen, 39, vice president Home Mortgage Solutions Inc., and Leonard D. Smith, 43, a branch manager at Home Mortgage, which is based in Greenwood Village.
Both Smith and Nguyen are required under the assurances to make proper disclosure to their clients concerning home loans and to make full disclose of the terms and interest rates in any advertisement about mortgage products.
Operation Stolen Dreams
The actions come are part of “Operation Stolen Dreams,” a multi-state sweep the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission announced today. The sweep covers nine states and announces 101 actions taken against loan modification firms. Colorado has been on the top states affected by the foreclosure crisis in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Suthers encouraged consumers facing foreclosure to contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline at 1-877-601-HOPE (4673). The hotline is staffed with HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselors who can talk with them about their mortgage. Studies have shown that four out of five homeowners who use the Foreclosure Hotline stand a good chance of saving their home at no cost.
To learn more about the Office of the Attorney General’s efforts at combating mortgage fraud or to learn InformationCenter. Colorado consumers can file a complaint if they believe they have been the victim of fraud can fill out an online complaint at this link.
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.< class="related_post_title">Related Posts:>