The State of Connecticut, Department of Banking, has just released information on its cease and desist and restitution order against Homestead Financial Services.
The State claims:
1. Homestead is a California limited liability company with a place of business at 1976 S. La Cienega Boulevard, #654, Los Angeles, California. At all relevant times hereto, Fabian is and was the sole Member of Homestead and account signatory for Homestead.
2. At all relevant times hereto, Fabian received or expected to receive compensation from Homestead in connection with the offering of mortgage modification services.
3. On or about September 30, 2016, a Connecticut debtor (“Debtor 1”) executed an agreement purporting to authorize Homestead to represent Debtor 1 in the modification of such debtor’s mortgage loan.
4. In connection with Debtor 1’s fee agreement with Homestead, Debtor 1 contracted to pay $3,200 in three installments. As a result of Debtor 1’s dissatisfaction with Homestead, Debtor 1 only paid two installments totaling $2,127.
5. In addition, in response to a telephone solicitation for mortgage modification services received from Homestead in October 2016, a second Connecticut debtor (“Debtor 2”) executed an agreement purporting to authorize Homestead to represent Debtor 2 in the modification of such debtor’s mortgage loan for a fee of $3,000.
6. In connection with Debtor 2’s fee agreement with Homestead, Debtor 2 paid $3,000 in four installments as follows: $600 on March 14, 2017; $600 on April 13, 2017; $1,200 on May 11, 2017; and $600 on June 13, 2017.
7. The sums Debtor 1 and Debtor 2 contracted for with Homestead and the sums Debtor 1 and Debtor 2 ultimately paid to Homestead are both in excess of the amount that debt negotiators may charge for services related to secured debt pursuant to the Schedule of Maximum Fees established by the Commissioner on or about October 1, 2009 (“Schedule of Maximum Fees”).
8. The Schedule of Maximum Fees provides, in pertinent part, that “[a] debt negotiator of secured debt, including Short Sales and Foreclosure Rescue Services, may impose a fee upon the mortgagor or debtor for performing debt negotiation services not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Such fee shall only be collectable upon the successful completion of all services stated in the debt negotiation service contract”.
9. At no time relevant hereto have Respondents been licensed to engage or offer to engage in debt negotiation in this state, nor did Respondents qualify for an exemption from such licensure.
The State has ordered Homestead Financial Services to repay Connecticut debtors the amounts identified, plus interest. – Source