Operators of foreclosure rescue scams have been active in Michigan, and many homeowners have been victims of their devious promises. The Homeowner Protection Fund has a division that provides restitution for victims of these unscrupulous scammers. The Attorney General has recently announced that $144,542 will be dispersed to over 112 homeowners who fell prey to the Hope4Homeowners foreclosure rescue scam. After complaints from homeowners, investigations were conducted into the activities of Hope4Homeowners. Following the investigation, the scamming company was charged with three counts of violating Michigan’s Credit Services Act.
The scammers made various dishonest and deceptive statements, including guarantees to avoid foreclosure and declarations that homeowners could evade foreclosure despite their credit scores and home valuations. The laws of Michigan disallow the companies who profess foreclosure rescue and advice to charge any fees prior to completion of their service to the homeowner. Complaining homeowners had to pay amounts ranging from $595 to $3,000 in advance. The Credit Services Act allows the office of the Attorney General to obtain reimbursement on behalf of the distressed homeowners. It also allows penalties of up to 90 days’ incarceration and/or a fine of $1,000.
Michigan residents would be advised not to accept offers from mortgage rescue companies requesting any money upfront. Homeowners in Michigan who have been misled by foreclosure scammers and then became victims of such scams may want to research the legal options available to them. With the appropriate advice, victims will be guided through the correct procedures to bring the matter to the attention of the Attorney General.
When homeowners in Michigan find themselves at the brink of foreclosure, it may be unwise to act hastily. Instead, it may be beneficial for them to research available solutions under state law. Options such as the protection of Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow them a fresh start that includes a stable financial future.
Source: loansafe.org, AG Bill Schuette Seeks Restitution for Homeowners Scammed by Hope4Homeowners, Alex Ferreras, March 21, 2014