The operators of an alleged mortgage relief scam that preyed upon distressed homeowners are banned from the mortgage loan modification and debt relief business under a court order obtained by the Federal Trade Commission.
The order stems from a case the FTC brought in July 2014 against five defendants as part of a federal-state law enforcement effort called Operation Mis-Modification. According to the FTC, the defendants, operating under the fictitious names “2Apply” and “UW Solutions,” falsely claimed they could lower consumers’ mortgage payments and interest rates or prevent foreclosure, pretended to be affiliated with a government agency or consumers’ lenders or servicers, and illegally charged advance fees – an initial $495, plus monthly fees that averaged about $399.
In granting the FTC’s request for summary judgment against Tuan Dinh Duong, the court found that Duong knew about the false claims and directed the illegal scheme, which violated the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule. The court also entered default judgment against four co-defendants.
Under the final orders, the defendants are banned from selling secured or unsecured debt relief products or services, and prohibited from making material misrepresentations about any financial or other products or services. The orders impose a judgment of more than $1.7 million, which represents the amount of money consumers lost.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered the order as a permanent injunction on August 22, 2016. The court entered a summary judgment against Duong on March 1, 2016, and a default judgment order against Christian D. Quezada, CD Capital Investments LLC, CD Capital LLC and GDS Information Services Inc. on August 22, 2016. Litigation continues against Gabriel D. Stewart.