PHOENIX (CN) – The operators of a “loan modification” company announced on TV that they work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but it’s not so, the Arizona Attorney General says. Santoya Financial Co. charged customers more than $1,200 for its bogus services, Attorney General Terry Goddard says.
Goddard also charged Santoya’s president Thomas Montoya and its CEO Robert Sanchez, in Maricopa County Court. He says the men also falsely claimed to have HUD approval on their Web site and in press releases.
Santoya Financial falsely claimed it is authorized by HUD to “provide counseling to homeowners,” and misrepresented the services it provides, Goddard says: the loan modifications were actually performed by outside companies “for which Santoya Financial has no responsibility and who have not complied with Arizona law regulating loan modification activities.”
He also says the firm failed to disclose that consumers can apply for loan modification services through HUD-approved counselors for free. Santoya allegedly charged $1,199 and one month’s mortgage for its “services.”
Goddard wants Santoya Financial Company enjoined from false advertising and ordered to pay restitution.