Victims of foreclosure rescue scam to get payments

LANSING (AP) -- More than 112 victims of a foreclosure rescue scam in Michigan will be helped after the state prosecuted a company for making misleading or false statements to homeowners, Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced.

About $115,000 from a state fund will be given to victims who paid between $595 and $3,000 to Hope4Homeowners, Schuette said in a statement last Friday.

"These funds will help victims of the mortgage foreclosure cases we've prosecuted get their money back, when they would otherwise be left with nothing," Schuette said.

Hope4Homeowners guaranteed to prevent foreclosure and asserted consumers could avoid foreclosure regardless of their credit score, home appraisal or debt-to-income ratio, Schuette said. Michigan prohibits charging fees before completing services when negotiating loans to homeowners.

Then-Attorney General Mike Cox charged Help4Homeowners in Oakland County in 2009. The group was convicted of three counts of violating Michigan's credit services law.

"Homeownership is a fundamental part of the American dream," Schuette said. "We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by mortgage foreclosure scammers and advocate for Michigan families."

Last August, Schuette announced the launch of a $7.5 million victim compensation fund with money that Michigan received from the National Mortgage Settlement. That agreement resolved accusations that five mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure-related documents without proper verification.

People who may have been victims of Help4Homeowners should call the state at 877-765-8388.



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Published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014