CHARLESTON, VA – July 15, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Responding to the case of a Clay County homeowner who was the victim of fraud while seeking help with his mortgage, Attorney General Darrell McGraw today took action against National Relief Group for charging illegal advance fees and misrepresenting that the company would obtain loan modifications for consumer mortgages. McGraw’s Consumer Protection Division filed a petition in Kanawha County Circuit Court to enforce a subpoena against the California-based company.
The Glen, West Virginia, homeowner stated that he had contacted National Relief Group seeking help with a mortgage loan modification. The company informed him that he had been pre-approved for a modification and that payment for services would be required in advance. Although the consumer paid up front for the promised loan modification, the company did not secure any relief for the homeowner. Eventually, the consumer lost his home to foreclosure.
Pressured by economic conditions, many homeowners are currently seeking to modify their home loans in order to lower their monthly mortgage payments. Under West Virginia law, businesses cannot charge an advance fee to consumers seeking such loan modifications.
In addition, “West Virginia consumers who need help in obtaining loan modifications should be aware there are free resources available,” McGraw stated. “And they should never pay fees for loan modification services in advance.”
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of illegal practices by a loan modification or debt relief company should contact Attorney General McGraw’s Consumer Protection Hotline, toll free, at 1-800-368-8808. To report a scam or file a complaint, West Virginians can also reach the Attorney General’s Office online at www.wvago.gov. For regular consumer news updates and tips, follow “AGWestV” on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Kim Stitzinger Jones
Phone: (800) 368-8808