New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has expanded his investigation into mortgage rescue companies that abuse New York homeowners. As a part of his ongoing investigation, Cuomo is sending over 30 additional cease-and-desist letters to mortgage rescue companies warning them to immediately end all misleading and illegal conduct. A total of 213 companies have now been put on notice. As of May 2010, there are 64,778 foreclosed properties in New York State. In May 2010 alone, one in every 1,982 housing units had received a notice of foreclosure.
The Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the mortgage rescue industry revealed that many companies routinely collect illegal upfront fees from homeowners on the brink of foreclosure and then fail to help them lower their mortgage payments or save their home as promised. Thousands of New Yorkers have been affected by mortgage rescue scams. After recently sending cease-and-desist letters to over 180 mortgage rescue companies, the Attorney General’s office received consumer complaints and uncovered more evidence that indicated additional companies may be abusing New York homeowners.
“The letters that we are sending out to mortgage rescue companies across the United States intend to stop bad companies in their tracks,” said Cuomo. “Many of these companies take money from homeowners who cannot afford to pay it and make a bad situation worse. We are telling these companies to immediately cease any wrongdoing and to make sure their business practices are all above board, or they are going to be held accountable by my office.”
The Attorney General’s cease-and-desist letters—which are going to 31 additional companies—warn mortgage rescue companies to end any illegal, deceptive, and misleading practices, including:
►Charging up-front fees for consulting services;
►Failing to enter into written contracts with homeowners, in the language the homeowners use, that fully disclose the exact nature of, and fees for, the services to be provided;
►Failing to allow homeowners to cancel their contract, without any penalty, within five business days after signing and failing to provide homeowners with notice of this right in the contract;
►Using any deceptive and misleading advertising practices, including: false guarantees regarding success rates, false 100% money-back guarantees, and fabricated consumer testimonials;
►Using any advertisements designed to give consumers the false impression that a company is affiliated with the government or a government-sponsored program.
A copy of the Attorney General’s cease-and-desist letter can be found by clicking here.
For more information, visit www.nyprotectyourhome.com.