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Attorney General Presents $700,000 in Grants Through Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Fund

TALLAHASSEE, FL - September 3, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum and the Florida Bar Foundation today awarded approximately $700,000 in grants to several South Florida non-profit organizations to fund free foreclosure legal defense work. A total of $4 million will be available statewide over two years to fund attorneys and paralegals who will provide free legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. The grants were funded by the Attorney General’s settlement with Countrywide Financial last October.

McCollum: Orange County Legal Aid to Get $84,000 Through Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Fund

TALLAHASSEE, FL - August 31, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum and The Florida Bar Foundation today awarded $84,000 to the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. to be used for a new foreclosure defense assistance program. The program is funded by money obtained by the Attorney General through a settlement with Countrywide Financial. A total of $4 million will be available over two years to fund additional lawyer and paralegal positions devoted to providing free assistance to homeowners facing foreclosures who cannot afford legal defense.

Attorney General McCollum Hosts Town Hall on Housing Issues

TAMPA, FL - August 17, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today hosted a Tampa town hall meeting with Florida’s Interagency Mortgage Fraud Task Force to discuss the housing crisis. The event, designed to present a comprehensive approach for dealing with housing-related issues, provided community education and assistance to over 150 attendees. Participating agencies included state agencies, law enforcement, regulatory authorities, housing counselors and volunteer lawyers.

Former Judge Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud

TAMPA, FL - August 11, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces that Thomas E. Stringer (Tampa, Florida) today pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud fore Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo. Stringer faces a maximum penalty of thirty years in federal prison. However, because it appears that no one sustained a loss from the commission of the crime, the relevant sentencing guidelines contemplate the imposition of a non-custodial sentence. United States intends to seek forfeiture of $222,362.00, the amount of the proceeds from the fraud. A sentencing date has not been set

Jensen Beach Pastor, Wife Convicted of Mortgage Fraud Scheme

TALLAHASSEE, FL - July 22, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Jensen Beach Pastor and his wife have been convicted of mortgage fraud by a Martin County Jury. Rodney McGill and his mortgage broker wife Shalonda face up to 170 years in prison after running a mortgage fraud scheme that enticed victims to participate in a real estate investment “opportunity” but instead was an effort to rid the McGills of their mortgages. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in partnership with the State Attorney Bruce Colton of the 19th Judicial Circuit.

Central Florida Loan Modification Company Targeting Hispanics Sued for Mortgage Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, FL - July 17, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced his office has filed a lawsuit against a Central Florida company that allegedly charges homeowners facing foreclosure up-front fees for loan modification services. According to the lawsuit filed today in Orange County, Victor Lopez & Associates and its owners are in violation of Florida’s Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act. The company’s office is located in Orlando.

Kosmas Applauds Signing of Helping Families Save Their Homes Act

Legislation Will Help Address Central Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis. Washington, DC - May 21, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) applauded the signing of H.R. 1106 (S.896), the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The legislation will help protect thousands of Central Florida homeowners by providing important tools and incentives for lenders, servicers, and homeowners to modify loans and avoid foreclosures. The bill passed the House and Senate this month by large bipartisan margins and was signed by President Obama on Wednesday.

Columbia County Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Scheme

TALLAHASSEE, FL - May 12, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Columbia County man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme. Rory V. Porter faces five years in prison and ten years of probation when he is sentenced next month and will have to pay over half a million dollars in restitution. Porter was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

CFO SINK WORKS TO PROTECT FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS AND BOOST HOUSING MARKET

TALLAHASSEE, FL - April 16, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Florida Chief Financial Officer Sink joined Florida Realtors® and Sadowski Workforce Housing Coalition members during two separate events today to promote her efforts to protect Florida homeowners. As a champion for homeowners, CFO Sink underscored her department’s My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program and efforts to address Florida’s high rate of home foreclosures.

McCollum Unveils Website to Help Homeowners Avoid Mortgage Fraud-Related Scams

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today unveiled a new website designed to help homeowners avoid mortgage fraud-related scams. The website, at provides consumers with easy access to current investigations, complaint forms, and tips to identify and avoid foreclosure rescue fraud. Foreclosure rescue fraud, or fraud involving loan modifications related to foreclosures, is the complaint topic most commonly reported to the Attorney General’s Office and involves the charging of an up-front fee for foreclosure rescue services before any services are provided, if they are provided at all.

Court Grants Emergency Request to Halt Jacksonville Foreclosure Rescue Company’s Up-Front Fees

TALLAHASSEE, FL - April 09, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has obtained a court order temporarily prohibiting a Jacksonville company from charging up-front fees for foreclosure-related rescue services. According to the order issued by the Duval County Circuit Court, National Foreclosure Counseling Services Corp. is barred from charging homeowners any fee in advance for providing foreclosure-related rescue services. The order was agreed upon by the state and the company.

Settlement Obtained in Orlando Mortgage Fraud Case

TALLAHASSEE, FL - April 07, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) —Attorney General Bill McCollum announced today that his office has obtained a settlement with an Orlando company that provided foreclosure services to consumers. Homestead Protection Services, LLC has agreed to dissolve the company and must refrain from any future violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The company must also pay $20,000 in consumer restitution and must reimburse the state $5,000 for fees and costs of the investigation.

Temporary Injunction Obtained in Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Lawsuit

TALLAHASSEE, FL - March 30, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today obtained a temporary injunction against Lincoln Lending Services, LLC and owner Rita Gomez, prohibiting the company from engaging in any type of consumer-debt related service or mortgage modification service and from taking payment from consumers for such services until further order of the court. The company will also be required to preserve and allow inspection of its records and refrain from liquidating its assets.

Attorney General Calls for Cooperative Approach to State’s Mortgage Fraud Issues

TALLAHASSEE, FL - March 26, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that he has sent a letter to several state agencies and associations, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Office of Financial Regulation, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Bar, calling for a cooperative approach to the state’s mortgage fraud crisis. The Attorney General noted that his office has received hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints on various issues related to mortgage fraud including criminal fraud and foreclosure rescue fraud

CFO SINK’S FLORIDA HOUSING HELP INITIATIVE TO JOIN PASCO COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS TO HOST FORECLOSURE...

TALLAHASSEE, FL - March 11, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that the Florida Housing Help Initiative she launched last year to assist Floridians facing foreclosure is joining forces with Pasco County Community Development, Community United Methodist Church of Holiday, and the United Way, to host a Florida Housing Help Workshop this Saturday from 9am to 2pm in Holiday.

CFO SINK ASKS FLORIDA LENDERS TO APPOINT MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE NEGOTIATORS

TALLAHASSEE, FL - February 25, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — With the goal of helping more Florida families stay in their homes, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today urged each of Florida’s largest mortgage lenders to appoint an ombudsman to facilitate interaction between lenders, attorneys, and Florida homeowners. Details of the proposal were outlined in a letter sent today to 11 major mortgage lending institutions.

Florida’s Existing Housing Market Reflects Mortgage, Economic Issues at Year End 2008

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 26, 2009 – Florida’s housing market mirrored the national trend in 2008, as mortgage industry troubles, unsettled financial markets, tightened credit and other economic issues impacted sales and prices.

Mortgage Contracting Services Enhances Compliance Section of Web Site

TAMPA, FL, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS), provider of property preservation and inspection services to the mortgage industry, announced the company...

Miami Realtor Wins FAR’s 2008 Realtor Achievement Award

ORLANDO, FL - October 2008 - (RealEstateRama) — Nancy Hogan, a member of the Realtor® Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches, has been...

MORTGAGE BROKER AND PASTOR CHARGED WITH BILKING CONSUMERS IN $1 MILLION SCHEME

JENSEN BEACH, FL  - September 19, 2008 - (RealEstateRama) — A Florida mortgage broker and her husband, a pastor and popular radio show host,...

Popular Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

Colombia tops all Foreign Searches for Miami Real Estate

Colombia continues to lead all foreign countries searching for South Florida real estate, according to new data from the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI). The South American nation finished as the top international country using MIAMI’s search portal, www.Miamire.com, in May 2016. Colombia has now led the rankings for six consecutive months

Recent Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

Rooney Supports HUD Grants for Hurricane Disaster Recovery

Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s announcement it will send over $791 million to Florida to repair homes and buildings damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Matthew