Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is going after a Costa Mesa loan modification firm accused of charging “significant fees” and then doing little or nothing for customers.
The company, Making Home Affordable, has been the subject of 20 complaints filed with DeWine's office.
Homeowners behind on their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure were solicited through the mail, according to DeWine, who adds those letters and later phone calls have the false impression Making Home Affordable is affiliated with the federal Housing and Urban Development agency.
Those who returned a “financial packet” were informed they had been accepted for loan modifications with new monthly payments and due dates, alleges the Ohio AG, who says customers were then directed to either make a lump sum payment to be held in escrow or to make mortgage payments directly to Making Home Affordable. Consumers were led to believe these funds would be forwarded to their mortgage holders, but they were instead held in the company accounts.
“Deceiving homeowners into thinking they are going to get a break on
their mortgages, and charging them for this so-called help, is very
disturbing,” DeWine says in a release from his office. “We won't tolerate it.”
His office accuses Making Home Affordable of violating several Ohio consumer protection laws and seeks penalties, injunctive relief and restitution for all customers.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.