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Michigan AG Cox charges 19 criminal complaints in foreclosure rescue schemes

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jul 30, 2010

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has announced the filing of 19 criminal complaints and a total of 69 charges against illegal advanced fee "foreclosure rescue" operations accused of defrauding Michigan families of thousands of dollars. Nine Michigan mortgage companies are accused of illegally charging homeowners facing foreclosure upfront fees for mortgage modification assistance. The defendants claimed they would help homeowners by working with their lenders in an attempt to modify the borrower's mortgage. After paying the upfront fee, borrowers found that the companies made no real attempt to secure a loan modification and were subsequently unable to get their money back. Many of the victims lost their homes to foreclosure. "These companies took advantage of struggling Michigan families trying to hold onto the American dream," said Cox. Several companies and individuals charged are accused of obtaining money through false statements to consumers. This charge is a five year felony. In addition, several are accused of charging upfront fees before services were rendered, a violation of the Credit Services Protection Act, and with making misleading statements. Each of the charges carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 in addition to the requirement that the companies make full restitution to each of their victims.  The charges announced by AG Cox include: ►Isaac Modert of DeWitt, Mich. from Lansing, Mich.-based LCN Mortgage: Eight counts False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), two counts Using a Computer to Commit a Crime, one count witness tampering, one count Non-Sufficient Funds, two counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 56A District Court, Eaton. When he received word that his victim had filed a complaint with the Office of Attorney General, Modert offered the victim a four-wheel drive truck to induce her to drop the complaint. ►Benjamin Walcott of Grand Rapids, Mich., also from LCN Mortgage: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), 56A District Court, Eaton County. Walcott, a registered sex-offender, is currently incarcerated in the Ionia County Jail after pleading guilty in May to one count of Working within a Student Safety Zone in violation of the Sex Offenders Registration Act, a one year misdemeanor, for coaching at a football camp on school grounds. ►Aaron Teachout, of Charlotte, Mich. also from LCN Mortgage: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more but less than $20,000). 56A District Court, Eaton. ►LCN Mortgage in Lansing, Mich.: Eight counts False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), two counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 56A District Court, Eaton. ►Mobile Modification aka Notary Modification: Three counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 57th District Court, Allegan County. ►Tonya Raisbeck of Fennville, Mich. from Mobile Modification (aka Notary Modification): Three counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 57th District Court, Allegan County. One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 64B District Court, Montcalm. ►The Modification Company aka The Modification Center in Livonia, Mich.: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 16th District Court, Wayne. ►Guy Humeniuk of Livonia, Mich. from Livonia's The Modification Company aka The Modification Center: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 16th District Court, Wayne. ►Global Loan Modification in Commerce Township, Mich.: One count False Pretenses ($200-$1,000, Misdemeanor), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 48th District Court, Oakland. ►Steven Barry Ruza (aka Steven Barry), of West Bloomfield, Mich. from Global Loan Modification: One count False Pretenses ($200 - $1,000, Misdemeanor), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 48th District Court, Oakland. ►Flagstone Partners Inc. in Southfield, Mich.: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 46th District Court, Oakland. ►Kevin Nafso, of West Bloomfield, Mich. from Flagstone Partners: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 48th District Court, Oakland. ►Home Rescue Corporation in Highland, Mich.: Three counts False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), Three counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 52-1 District Court, Oakland. ►Chris Martin, of Highland, Mich. from Home Rescue Corporation: Three counts False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), Three counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 52-1 District Court, Oakland. ►Elite Mortgage Relief in Howell, Mich.: Two counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 53rd District Court, Oakland. ►Michelle Garbuschewki (aka Michelle Justice) of Howell, Mich. from Elite Mortgage Relief: Two counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 53rd District Court, Oakland. ►Lisa Joboulian of Northville, Mich. from Elite Mortgage Relief: Two counts Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 53rd District Court, Oakland County. ►Legal Researchers in Southfield, Mich.: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 46th District Court, Oakland. ►Federal Modification in Westland, Mich.: One count False Pretenses ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000), One count Credit Services Protection Act Violation, 18th District Court, Wayne. Attorney General Cox has made prosecuting mortgage fraud a priority for his office. In 2008, Cox created a mortgage fraud unit, teaming with the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies to tackle consumers' complaints. Cox's office has charged 46 people or companies with a mortgage fraud-related offense in the last 23 months alone. Cox's office also conducted several mortgage foreclosure forums to help families stay in their homes during these difficult times. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/ag.
Published
Jul 30, 2010
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