The Division of Consumer Affairs has mailed notices of violation to nine New Jersey-based companies that allegedly offered loan modification services to consumers without being licensed.
The nine companies each were cited for violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act for engaging in unconscionable commercial practices by allegedly offering to negotiate mortgage modifications without being licensed as a debt adjuster by the Department of Banking and Insurance.
“Homeowners looking for mortgage help instead are becoming victims of fraud, and risk ending up in a worse situation,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said. “We want these nine unlicensed debt-adjuster companies to reimburse consumers for fees paid and to comply with our laws.”
The Notices of Violation are the latest in an on-going series of actions taken by the Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs to protect consumers in the current mortgage and home foreclosure crisis. To date, 11 civil lawsuits have been filed against 102 defendants who allegedly committed mortgage or foreclosure fraud against consumers.
The Division also filed suit against a Lakewood-based firm, United Credit Adjusters, and obtained a court judgment in July that permanently barred the company from performing credit counseling, credit repair or debt adjuster work in New Jersey.
The nine companies each sent a Notice of Violation on November 24 are:
- Affordable Finance
- Best Response Loan Modification, Best Response Loan Mod
- Home Rescue Today, Financial Solutions Today
- Legal Loan Modifications
- Premier Services & Consultants
- RJD Consulting, RJD Mortgage
- United Global Services
Each company has been assessed a $5,000 civil penalty, in addition to the noted restitution.
Each company has the option of not contesting the charges contained in the Notice of Violation and paying the civil penalty and restitution within 15 days. Each company also has the option of contesting the charges and requesting an administrative hearing before the Division.
Mortgage/Financial Fraud Unit staff in the Division’s Office of Consumer Protection conducted the investigations of these companies.