Florida Attorney General Sues Loan Modification Company Targeting Hispanics

It has been a busy two weeks for Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, who has sued as many as five loan modification companies for accepting (a better word might be STEALING) up front loan modification fees from Florida Consumers. On July 17, 2009, the Florida Attorney General’s office announced the filing of a lawsuit in Orange County against 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.

An investigation conducted by members of the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division, working as part of the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, indicated that Victor Lopez & Associates was charging up-front fees as high as $2,295 to homeowners seeking loan modification services. Additionally, consumer complaints allege that the company has not performed the promised services and that consumers are unable to contact the company or get refunds.

According to the lawsuit, Victor Lopez & Associates targeted the Hispanic community by advertising on Spanish radio and television and conducting the majority of sales transactions in Spanish, but only provided consumers with contracts in English. The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Victor Lopez & Associates from charging up-front fees, restitution on behalf of all victimized consumers, civil penalties of $15,000 for each violation of the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act, and reimbursement for fees and costs related to the investigation.

The Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force continues to review the practices of many companies providing foreclosure-related rescue services to ensure compliance with Florida law. The Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act was one of the Attorney General’s top priorities during the 2008 Legislative Session and has provided the Attorney General’s Office, through the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, with better enforcement abilities on behalf of Florida’s homeowners.

Consumers may file a complaint or fill out an affidavit about Victor Lopez & Associates by visiting the Attorney General’s website at http://www.myfloridalegal.com/mortgagefraud or by calling the fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226. More information about that Attorney General’s efforts in combating mortgage fraud, along with helpful information for homeowners in distress, is also available on the mortgage fraud website.

Copies of the lawsuit and the consumer affidavit are available online at:http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/JFAO-7U2MD3/$file/lopezcomplaint.pdf and
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/JFAO-7U2MDM/$file/lopezaffidavit.pdf

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