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  • CFPB secures $12 million after decade-old complaint against foreclosure relief scam company

    Federal Issues

    On February 8, the CFPB announced the resolution of an enforcement action, begun in 2014, against a foreclosure relief operation that allegedly violated Regulation O. After a decade of court orders, opinions, and appeals, on February 5, 2024, the defendants and the CFPB jointly agreed to the dismissal of their respective appeals and on February 7, 2024, the Seventh Circuit dismissed the parties’ appeals. The final settlement required the defendants to pay $10.9 million in consumer redress and a $1.1 million penalty. The enforcement action notes that the defendants remain “subject to the bans” under the district court’s 2022 order. 

    The CFPB had alleged that the defendants violated Reg. O by taking payments from consumers for (i) mortgage modifications before they signed an agreement from their lender; (ii) failing to make required disclosures; (iii) directing consumers not to contact lenders; and (iv) making deceptive statements to consumers. As previously reported by InfoBytes, the CFPB and the Florida Attorney General obtained a judgment against this group in May 2015 for parallel violations.  

    Federal Issues CFPB Enforcement Foreclosure Regulation O Seventh Circuit Appellate

  • CFPB and Florida AG Obtain Judgment Against Law Group and Corporate Affiliates for "Mass-Joinder" Foreclosure Relief Scam

    Consumer Finance

    On May 29, a final order was entered against a law group and its corporate affiliates in an action brought by the CFPB and the State of Florida. The July 2014 complaint alleged that the law group and its affiliates violated Regulation O, or the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, and Florida state law by convincing consumers to participate in “mass-joinder” lawsuits against their mortgage lenders with the false promise that the suits would result in mortgage modifications or foreclosure relief. More specifically, the defendants’ Regulation O violations included: (i) charging consumers advance fees before obtaining loan modifications for them; (ii) misrepresenting success rates of receiving a loan modification; (iii) deceiving consumers into believing that they would receive legal representation; and (iv) discouraging consumers from making their loan payments and/or communicating with their lenders or servicers. The final order, which follows a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze against the defendants, requires that the defendants pay redress to victims and a total of $16 million in civil and state penalties and cease all business operations. Final orders were issued against the three named individuals in the suit as well.

     

    CFPB UDAAP State Attorney General Enforcement

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