It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Connecticut go after someone for debt adjusting or debt negotiation services.
But it looks like they are back.
The State alleges that Pedroso Legal Services LLC a/k/a ELAWNJ.COM accepted money from one Connecticut consumer for debt help.
“7. Legal Services is a New Jersey limited liability company with a place of business at 8 Wilson Ave, Newark, New Jersey.
8. Pedroso is an attorney licensed in the State of New Jersey, Attorney ID # 0343981996, and is the managing attorney of Legal Services. Pedroso has never been admitted to practice law in Connecticut.
9. On or about March 29, 2016, a Connecticut mortgagor (“Mortgagor”) met with Pedroso at the office of Legal Services in New Jersey, paid $4,000 to Respondents and entered into a contract authorizing Respondents to represent the Mortgagor in the modification of such Mortgagor’s residential mortgage loan (“Agreement”).
10. In connection with the Agreement, from March to August 2016, the Mortgagor paid an additional $6,000 to Respondents for a total of $10,000 in connection such services. On September 23, 2016, Respondents represented that they concluded Mortgagor’s loan modification services and refunded $1,800 to the Mortgagor.
11. The sum the Mortgagor paid to Respondents in connection with such services is 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”).
12. 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”.
13. 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.
14. At no time relevant hereto, did the Mortgagor obtain a loan modification as a result of Respondents’ services.” – Source
Attorney Filipe Pedroso is ordered to repay the consumer $8,200 plus interest and can face a civil penalty of $100,000.
Forget about Texas, you don’t mess around with Connecticut.