A joint investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice and the Department of Consumer and Business Services results in an agreement that will provide $67,000 in restitution to 28 Oregon homeowners as well $65,000 to the state for its consumer protection efforts.
Attorney General John Kroger today announced an agreement that will provide restitution for more than two dozen Oregon homeowners who were promised loan modifications that were never delivered.
"Distressed homeowners need help, not empty promises," said Attorney General Kroger. "I want to thank DCBS for its work on this case."
"We are pleased to be able to provide restitution to consumers harmed by this company," said David Tatman, administrator of the DCBS Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. "Unfortunately, there are more entities out there that prey on Oregonians struggling to keep their homes. We urge homeowners to be cautious and make sure a company is licensed by checking with our agency's website or calling us."
The agreement bans American Team Mortgage, Inc., dba American Mortgage Relief, and Steve Hufstedler from foreclosure counseling, credit/debt counseling, loan modification or mortgage origination in Oregon. Under the agreement, 28 homeowners will receive $67,000 in restitution. Oregon will receive an additional $65,000 for its consumer protection efforts.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) conducted a joint investigation into allegations that the companies took illegal upfront fees to provide loan modifications. The investigation determined that 28 Oregon homeowners received neither the loan modification they paid for nor a refund.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Greg Smith, former AAG Harry Wilson and Patrick A. Fitzgerald from DCBS handled the case.
Consumers can check to see if a company is licensed to make loan modifications by calling DCBS at 1-866-814-9710 or by visiting www.dfcs.oregon.gov. Help is also available from local foreclosure counselors, 1-800-SAFENET, and the national foreclosure help hotline, 1-888-995-HOPE.
Mortgage fraud is one of Attorney General John Kroger's top priorities.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org