TUCSON (CN) – Arizona’s attorney general says a Nevada couple has targeted Spanish-speakers with a loan modification scam for nearly 2 years, promising to help them ward off foreclosure, then taking their money and waltzing with it.
Gustavo and Olivia Anaya used several unregistered loan-modification and foreclosure-consultant companies to bilk Arizonans of illegal up-front fees ranging from $500 to $3,500, and did nothing to help the victims save their homes, the state claims in Pima County Court.
The Anayas have run their scam as Mortgage Capital and Executive Capitals since 2010, and as American Mortgage USA since January, according to the complaint. The Anayas and all their companies operate out of Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.
“Gustavo Anaya uses each individual business name interchangeably, but the pattern is clear and consistent: get the money, let the foreclosure fuse burn while the consumer remains isolated and unaware, and when the worst happens for the consumer, blame the loan services or the consumer’s own lack of compliance with the terms of the agreement,” the complaint states. “If all goes well for Gustavo Anaya, the consumer will quietly walk away without complaining or at least be unaware of which particular defendant is responsible for any malfeasance.”
The attorney general says the Anayas give their Spanish-speaking clients one spiel during a personal meeting conducted in Spanish, then offer them an English-language contract with a different song and dance.
“Defendants verbally and routinely advised consumers in Spanish to cease paying their monthly mortgage payment while defendants’ written contract, called the ‘working agreement,’ sometimes advised the consumer in English of the need to keep paying their mortgage,” the complaint states.
The Anayas also promise to hire lawyers for their customers, but don’t do it, the state says.
Horne seeks a permanent injunction and penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act, and penalties for violating the state’s Foreclosure Consultant Statute.