Mortgage Modification Servicer Catches Heat
PHOENIX (CN) - A company selling mortgage-modification services misrepresents that it can arrange reductions on mortgage loans, Arizona's attorney general says in court.
Making All Homes Affordable (MAHA) claims on Spanish language radio stations in the Phoenix area that "consumers are eligible for principal and interest rate reductions on their mortgages, and that they can obtain those reductions through MAHA," according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says that when MAHA makes these claims, it "lacks any knowledge regarding whether any particular consumer's mortgage lender or servicer will agree to modify the particular consumer's mortgage loan, let alone on the specific terms that MAHA representatives tell consumers they 'qualify' and are 'eligible' for."
Clients who visit MAHA's offices are allegedly told that that they qualify for principal and interest rate reductions for $1,700, and that MAHA will help them arrange those offers.
MAHA, and its owner Albert Figueroa, also claim they can arrange private loans to refinance the mortgages of some clients, according to the complaint.
"After arranging a private loan for a MAHA client to refinance his mortgage loan, MAHA, Figueroa, and Diversified Home Solutions, working in concert with one another and without the consumer's knowledge or consent, created and recorded a fictitious lien on the client's real property in favor of Diversified that resulted in Diversified being paid out of escrow funds for a non-existent debt," Horne claims.
Clients that were told they would get reductions on their mortgage loans did not receive those results after paying MAHA for its services, according to the complaint.
The complaint names as defendants MAHA, Figueroa and his unnamed wife. Diversified Home Solutions is also a defendant, along with its owner Esmeralda Olivas Figueroa and her anonymous husband. Another couple, Steve Villanueva and his anonymous wife are the final named defendants.
Horne warned in a statement that "there is still a significant amount of fallout from the mortgage crisis, and consumers need to remain vigilant when approached about mortgage modification services."
He seeks to stop the defendants from further violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, to "restore to all persons any money that they acquired by any unlawful means or practice."
The complaint seeks $10,000 for each violation of the act.