Florida's Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act.

Mortgage and Lending with First Colorado Lending

A California company providing loan modification services to homeowners facing foreclosure has been charged with charging consumers up-front fees in violation of Florida's Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act.

According to the Attorney General Bill McCollum's lawsuit, the corporation solicited loan modification services to Florida homeowners by telephone, mail and internet marketing. An investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Economic Crimes Division revealed that 21st Century Legal Services charges an up-front fee as high as $2,500 to homeowners seeking loan modification services. Moreover most of their customers have complained that the company has not performed the promised services and that customers remain unable to get refunds.

The complaint alleges that, after initial contact is made with a homeowner, the company arranges for a "company representative" to visit the consumer at home. These representatives are, in fact, local notaries hired by the company to travel to the consumer's home and execute the necessary sales agreements. The lawsuit states that the company instructed the notaries not to provide consumers with a copy of the written agreements, in direct violation of Florida law. The Attorney General's Office is also seeking a court order permanently prohibiting 21st Century Legal Services from further violations of Florida law.

There are other states suing 21st Century Legal Services, and the FBI have conducted raids at several of the company's California offices in mid-September of 2009. The Attorney General's lawsuit requests full restitution for affected homeowners and civil penalties of up to $15,000 per violation.

It is important to note that institutions don't commit fraud, lenders don't commit fraud, companies don't commit fraud - people commit fraud.

Michael S. Richardson

Director/Mortgage Fraud Services
Author of "An American Epidemic, Mortgage Fraud a Serious Business"




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