Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced he has filed a lawsuit against three businesses operating in Miami-Dade County, their principles and affiliated attorneys on allegations of deceptive and unfair trade practices regarding their involvement in a foreclosure rescue scam affecting homeowners nationwide. The Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division began investigating Kirkland Young LLC, in July after receiving numerous consumer complaints against the company. During the course of the investigation it was discovered that Attorney Aid LLC and ABK Consultants were affiliated with Kirkland Young LLC.
The companies allegedly charged up-front fees for loan modification services, and misrepresented to consumers that lenders required “qualifying payments” in order to qualify for modifications. The companies also charged “back end” fees upwards of $1,299 for the first mortgage modification and approximately $499 to $699 for a second mortgage modification. To facilitate the collection of additional fees, consumers were required to set up escrow accounts with the attorneys affiliated with the companies, misleading consumers into believing they were retaining attorney representation for their loan modification. The funds fraudulently collected in the attorney escrow accounts were used for the benefit of all the defendants.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from engaging in any business activity generally dealing in or related to the residential and commercial real estate businesses, restitution on behalf of all victimized consumers, civil penalties in the amount of $10,000.00 for each violation of the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and reimbursement for attorneys fees and costs related to the investigation.