TALLAHASSEE, FL – November 25, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today commended Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for his proactive efforts to combat mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams in Florida. Yesterday, the FTC unveiled “Operation Stolen Hope,” a national sweep targeting these types of scams, and announced the filing of just over 100 state and federal legal actions throughout the country. These filings are in addition to the continuing efforts by Attorney General McCollum’s office, which has filed 17 civil actions in the past year with more expected in the coming months.
“Nationwide, people are struggling financially to stay in their homes,” said Attorney General McCollum. “I’m pleased to see more federal and state partners joining our efforts to protect our homeowners from these disgusting schemes.”
Since October 2008, Attorney General McCollum’s Economic Crimes Division has filed 17 civil lawsuits for mortgage fraud or foreclosure rescue violations, recovered $1.5 million in restitution for distressed homeowners and shut down businesses when appropriate. The Attorney General’s office is also actively investigating 83 businesses for potential violations of Florida’s Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act, a law he first envisioned in 2007 and championed in the 2008 legislative session.
“If consumers are asked for an up-front fee, are told to stop making their loan payments, or are guaranteed” a modified loan – it’s a tip off to a rip off,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Vladeck commended the enforcement efforts of Attorney General McCollum, saying that they “send a clear message to scammers that Florida will not tolerate the victimization of its citizens.”
Consumers who wish to file a foreclosure rescue or loan modification fraud complaint with the Attorney General’s office may call 1-866-966-7226 or may file a complaints online at http://www.myfloridalegal.com. More information about the Attorney General’s efforts to combat mortgage fraud in Florida is available online at: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/mortgagefraud
Media Contact: Sandi Copes
Phone: (850) 245-0150