Posts Tagged ‘loan modification services’

FLORIDA’S OFFICE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION SERVES THE 100TH CEASE & DESIST ORDER AS PART OF THE STATEWIDE CRACKDOWN ON UNLAWFUL MORTGAGE MODIFICATION ACTIVITIES

Friday, April 8th, 2011
In a March, 2011, article on Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation’s website that the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Commissioner Tom Cardwell announced the 100th Cease & Desist Order was served in Florida to companies conducting unlawful loan modification services. 
  
Commissioner Tom Cardwell cautions citizens against paying any upfront fees for loan modifications, which are illegal. “If the person asks for any money upfront, simply turn and walk away,” Cardwell advised. “Consumers are desperate for help, but they should know their rights under the law before they act so they can protect themselves from becoming victims of financial fraud during these difficult economic times. Many of our citizens find themselves in difficult financial situations, which make them easy prey for these corrupt individuals who charge for services they do not complete and make promises they have no intention of keeping. Our goal is to ensure Floridians only pay for loan modification services that are a true benefit, not an unrealistic promise, to solve their financial problems.”
 
Companies providing loan modification services such as adjusting interest rates or any other services must have an active license from OFR. Any person or entity that continues to engage in loan modifications in this state without an active license is guilty of a third-degree felony punishable by a prison term of up to five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000 per offence.
 
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation offers the following tips for consumers to identify potential fraud and avoid becoming a victim:
 
• Do your research! Check the regulatory requirements the profession adheres to and confirm the person you are working with has a professional license. Also check if any complaints have been filed against the company or individual. 
• Always get your agreement in writing and specify the services to be provided.
• NEVER pay any upfront fees for loan modification services. It is illegal to charge consumers for any services until after they have been rendered.
• Immediately get help if you feel you have been victimized.

If you are a Licensed Mortgage Broker in the State of Florida,The Soreide Law Group, PLLC, will represent you regarding licensing issues. To make an appointment to speak with an experienced and qualified attorney please call Soreide Law Group at:  (888) 760-6552 or visit our website at:  www.floridaprofessionallicense.com.  

Florida Authorities Crackdown on Unlicensed Mortgage Modification Activities In Clay County

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Clay County, Florida – It was announced on Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation’s website that on September 2, 2010, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler and Commissioner Tom Cardwell of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), today announced the execution of search warrants at two offices run by Clay County based companies.  As the result of a joint investigative effort, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office conducted searches this morning of two offices and OFR issued an Emergency Immediate Cease and Desist Order barring the companies from continuing to do business.  The Department of Agriculture was also a partner in the investigation.
 
The OFR investigators allege the two companies – Global Equity Solutions and Hope Financial Services – have been conducting unlawful loan modification services through unlicensed loan modification companies with unlicensed personnel.  Charges against owners and/or employees of the two companies are pending further investigation.  Global Equity Solutions is located at 3332 Old Jennings Road, Middleburg and Hope Financial Services is located at 251 College Drive, Orange Park.  Investigators from the involved agencies remain on scene at both locations.
 
The OFR investigators found the companies marketed services throughout the United States using Internet Web sites, mass mailing materials and a boiler-room-like telephone center.  Preliminary findings included nearly 250 open contracts, which required clients to pay a specified sum, generally between $1,195 and $1,795, prior to completion of a loan modification.
 
“Many of our citizens find themselves in difficult situations, which make them easy prey,” said OFR Commissioner Tom Cardwell.  “There are laws to help safeguard consumers and protect them from becoming victims of financial fraud in their time of need.” Commissioner Cardwell also specifically cautioned against paying any up-front fees whatsoever for loan modifications.  “If you’re asked for any money up front, simply turn around and walk away,” Cardwell advised.
 
Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation offers the following tips for consumers to identify potential fraud and avoid becoming a victim. 
·   Do your research! Check the regulatory requirements the profession adheres to and confirm the person you are working with has a professional license. Also check if any complaints have been filed against the company or individual.  Consumers can go to www.flofr.com/real/ and get up to date information on all licenses.
·   Always get your agreement in writing and specify the services to be provided.
·   NEVER pay any up-front fees for loan modification services. It is illegal to charge consumers for any services until after they have been rendered. 
·   Immediately get help if you feel you have been victimized. Contact the Office of Financial Regulation at 1-800-848-3792 or go to http://www.flofr.com to file a complaint.
 It was noted that the companies providing loan modification services such as adjusting interest rates or any other such services must have an active license from the OFR.  Any person or entity that continues to engage in loan modifications in this state without an active license is guilty of a felony of the third degree punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 per offense.  Members of the media will be notified if today’s search warrants result in charges being filed against the involved parties. Investigators are not at liberty to provide or verify the names of suspects until such time as arrests are made.
This information was obtained from Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation’s website.

Soreide Law Group will represent you in front of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation regarding loan modification licensing issues.  To speak to an attorney, please call: (888)760-6552 or visit our website at: ww.floridaprofessionallicense.com.

 

Loan Modification Licensure in Florida is Now an Industry with Regulation

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The days of simply opening up and starting a loan modification business have come to an end in Florida. Individuals or businesses providing loan modification services must now be licensed as a mortgage broker by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) in order to conduct business.

The Florida Legislature recently passed Senate Bill SB 2226. This law makes significant changes to Florida’s mortgage brokerage law — Chapter 494, Florida Statutes — effective Jan. 1, 2010. In particular, the new law covers negotiation of existing loans as being part of the duties of a mortgage broker. Any individual or business attempting to negotiate a loan mortgage modification will now be required to obtain a license through OFR. Also, there are new disclosures required in order to perform a loan modification — large type print on contracts and a three day rescission period are among a few of the changes.

This new law requires “loan originators” to obtain a license. Prior to the amended law, there was a large loophole that allowed salaried employees of a mortgage broker to act as a loan originator and still receive compensation for bringing a borrower and lender together. 

The new law was sparked by hundreds of complaints filed with the state attorney general’s office in Tallahassee. While only 59 complaints were filed in 2008, the number skyrocketed to approximately 3,750 in 2009, according to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who recently appeared on the Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

In an effort to combat the increase in foreclosure rescue scams within an industry previously unregulated, General McCollum sued three foreclosure rescue firms — and the attorneys who worked for them — alleging that they charged advance “qualifying payments” as high as $1,299 to perform loan modifications in violation of state law. Filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court on December 17, 2009, the suit also claims the company required clients to establish escrow accounts for additional fees and deceived them by implying the money was for legal representation.

After receiving numerous complaints — the majority originating from consumers outside Florida — the attorney general began investigating Kirkland Young LLC in July, 2009. State regulators soon realized that the business was affiliated with ABK Consultants Inc. and Attorney Aid LLC, which were also named in the suit. Although located in Miami-Dade, the businesses solicited customers nationwide. The legal action seeks to shut down the three companies, a $10,000 fine for each violation of state law, as well as restitution for consumers scammed in the process. Although in receivership, Kirkland Young has also been sued by the Federal Trade Commission.

Through Jan. 31, 2010 South Florida ranked fourth in the nation for home loan modifications, with 37,451 under President Barack Obama’s Making Home Affordable Program. Nationwide, 24 percent of the 3.3 million homes with distressed loans have been modified, according to a U.S. Department of the Treasury report. While the new law is not going to eliminate loan modification scams completely, it should make them more difficult.

Soreide Law Group will represent you in front of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation regarding loan modification licensing issues.  To speak to an attorney, please call: (888)760-6552 or visit our website at: www.floridaprofessionallicense.com.

Orlando Loan Modification Company & its Principal Served with Order to Cease and Desist

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla (March 25, 2010) – The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) issued and served an Order to Cease and Desist all loan modification services to The Loan Critics, LLC at 1737 Sunset View Circle, Apopka, Florida 32703, and James Palmer. The orders charged that the company is acting in violation of Florida laws (F.S. Chapter 494,) prohibiting unlicensed businesses or individuals from providing loan modification services.
 
“We have a lot of people out of work and struggling to keep their homes that are looking for help.  Some are paying for services they never get,” said OFR Commissioner Tom Cardwell. “It is important that our residents know their rights and the laws that help protect them from being victimized in their time of need.”
 
The new law, effective as of January 1, 2010, requires companies and all individuals in the companies that are conducting loan modification services to now be properly licensed.  In addition, the law requires promised services and expected outcomes be provided in writing and no upfront fees be charged in advance of the client benefiting from the loan modification services.

By Florida law, any person or company providing loan-modification services must have an active license from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

Soreide Law Group will represent you in front of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation regarding loan modification licensing issues.  To speak to an attorney, please call: (888)760-6552 or visit our website at: www.floridaprofessionallicense.com.