More than 180 foreclosure rescue companies with customers in New York have been sent cease-and-desist[IMAGE]
letters from the office of ""New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo."":http://www.ag.ny.gov/home.html These ""letters"":http://www.nyprotectyourhome.com/pdfs/Cease_and_Desist_Letter.pdf, Cuomo said, will warn the companies to immediately end all misleading and illegal conduct.
Through his ongoing investigation into the mortgage rescue industry, Cuomo said he discovered that many companies routinely collect illegal up-front fees from homeowners on the brink of foreclosure and then fail to help them lower their mortgage payments or save their home as promised. According to Cuomo, thousands of New Yorkers have been affected by these mortgage rescue scams.
""Today, we are putting mortgage rescue companies on notice - they must immediately cease any dishonest[COLUMN_BREAK]
tactics used to prey on homeowners or they will face the consequences,"" Cuomo said. ""The business model for many mortgage rescue companies is based on false promises, but the true cost of their deception is all too real.""
The attorney general's cease-and-desist letters were sent to 182 companies, ordering them to end illegal, deceptive, and misleading practices, including:
* Charging up-front fees for consulting services;
* Failing to enter into written contracts with homeowners, in the language the homeowners use, that fully disclose the exact nature of, and fees for, the services to be provided;
* Failing to allow homeowners to cancel their contract, without any penalty, within five business days after signing and failing to provide homeowners with notice of this right in the contract;
* Using any deceptive and misleading advertising practices, including false guarantees regarding success rates, false 100 percent money-back guarantees, and fabricated consumer testimonials; and
* Using any advertisements designed to give consumers the false impression that a company is affiliated with the government or a government-sponsored program.
To date, CuomoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office said it has issued subpoenas to more than 20 mortgage loan modification companies, entered into settlement agreements, and pursued enforcement actions against several companies which have been unwilling to end their illegal and deceptive practices.