BULLETIN: KABOOM! FTC Gains Asset Freezes Against Mortgage-Relief Scammers Trading On Image Of President Obama And Masquerading As ‘Law Firm,’ Agency Says

Sample advertisement promising relief from foreclosure: Source: FTC

BULLETIN: A federal judge in the Central District of California has approved asset freezes and  appointed a receiver in a case in which the FTC alleged several companies and a scammer-in-chief were running two mortgage-relief fraud schemes.

The scam, the FTC said, traded on an image of President Obama and used at least three .org sites to separate homeowners who already were financially strapped from even more money.

Named defendants were Sameer Lakhany of Santa Ana, Calif.; The Credit Shop LLC of Orange, Calif.; Fidelity Legal Services LLC of Orange, Calif.; Titanium Realty Inc. of Anaheim, Calif.; Precision Law Center Inc. of South Coast Metro, Calif.; and Precision Law Center LLC, also of South Coast Metro.

Lakhany also controlled three .orgs from which the scam was carried out, the FTC said: FreeFedLoanMod.org, HouseHoldRelief.org and MyHomeSupport.org.

In stunning allegations of relentless fraud aimed at vulnerable Americans, the FTC said Lakhany and his business entities authored a con “that falsely promised to get help for homeowners who joined others to file so-called ‘mass joinder’ lawsuits against their lenders.”

As part of the mass-joinder fraud, the scammers charged “$6,000 to $10,000 in advance, but failed to get the results they promised,” the agency alleged.

In the second fraud, the hucksters “promised but failed to deliver relief from . . . mortgages and foreclosures,” even after charging customers “between $795 to $1595 each for a so-called ‘forensic loan audit.'”

The defendants, according to the FTC, “told consumers these audits would find lender violations 90 percent of the time or more, and that the resulting legal leverage would force their lender to give them a loan modification that would substantially improve their mortgage terms. The defendants falsely portrayed themselves as non-profit, free, accredited, or HUD-certified housing counselors with special qualifications to help obtain mortgage loan modifications and avoid foreclosure.

“They promised consumers that the forensic loan audit would be the only charge not covered by their ‘free’ service, and that if the ‘audit’ did not turn up any violations, consumers could get a 70 percent refund and still obtain a loan modification. They also told consumers their loan modification requests would be seriously delayed without the audit,” the FTC charged.

The scams traded in part on an image of President Obama, the FTC said.

One ad featuring an Obama image urged consumers to call a toll-free number to “Speak With a Counselor and Receive a FREE Loan Modification Under the Obama Loan Modification Programs,” the FTC said.

Using various misrepresentations, the scammers targeting vulnerable Americans took in more than $1 million, the FTC said.

The addresses of Credit Shop LLC and Fidelity Legal Services LLC were mail drops, the FTC said.

Read the FTC complaint.

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2 Responses to “BULLETIN: KABOOM! FTC Gains Asset Freezes Against Mortgage-Relief Scammers Trading On Image Of President Obama And Masquerading As ‘Law Firm,’ Agency Says”

  1. These are the lowest form of crooks, taking advantage of people already in peril of losing their home by selling them fake mortgage reductions. It seems they have no bottom in how low they are willing to go to line their own pockets, much like many corporations. That’s what’s wrong with America, plain old greed.

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  2. Don: These are the lowest form of crooks, taking advantage of people already in peril of losing their home by selling them fake mortgage reductions.

    There’s a lot to be liked about the “beating of people on the bottom of their feet with sharp sticks” form of punishment being introduced for criminals like these.

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