FTC seeks to freeze deceitful practices of mortgage relief scheme

150px-US-FederalTradeCommission-Seal.svgThe Federal Trade Commission recently filed a federal suit seeking to freeze a mortgage relief scheme that allegedly engaged in deceitful practices, charging homeowners thousands of dollars for false foreclosure relief claims.

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the defendants, which include seven companies, as well as individuals, falsely promised to provide legal help to consumers facing foreclosure and to lower their monthly payments. The complaint alleges that the defendants charged illegal up-front fees, providing little or no help to the consumer.

Companies named in the suit include A to Z Marketing, APEX Members, APEX Solutions, Backend, Expert Processing Center and Smart Funding Corp. Individuals named in the suit include Ratan Baid, Madhulika Baid and William D. Goodrich.

Additionally, the complaint said the defendants allegedly marketed their scheme through television, radio and online ads, as well as telemarketing. The companies’ websites claimed to provide a number of financial services, including bankruptcy advice, credit counseling and “forensic mortgage audits.”

While the defendants promised to deliver loan modification, they generally did not provide the promised assistance, causing struggling homeowners to delve further into financial trouble.

The complaint charges the defendants with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act, as well as the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, which bans mortgage foreclosure relief and loan modification services firms from collecting fees until homeowners receive an acceptable offer from their lender or servicer.

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