BBB Warns Consumers to Be Careful of Mass Joinder Mailers

The St. Louis Better Business Bureau has issued a notice to consumers to be careful of the wave of mass joinder material that is being sent out to consumers.

Some of the notices the alert covers already have appeared on this site as examples of mailers to be concerned about.

You can see a copy of this mailer as mailer 21 and 22 on this collection of mass joinder mailers.

These two mailers came from an address in St. Peters, Missouri. The BBB reports:

“The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns homeowners to steer clear of mailings asking them to join national “mass joinder” lawsuits to force their mortgage companies to cut their loan payments.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, says the mailings are a new twist on schemes to obtain up-front payments of $5,000 or more from homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. Some mailings are tied to businesses in St. Charles County.

“Complaints from homeowners who paid thousands of dollars for mortgage assistance are a familiar story at the BBB,” Corey said. “Few, if any, of these people got help. Many ended up worse off than before the mortgage modification companies entered their lives.”

Several property owners in Boone County, Mo., recently got letters saying that their loans “may be eligible for national litigation aimed at fraudulent lender actions.” The letters listed no company name or return address. A nearly identical notice sent to a homeowner in Long Beach, Calif., came from the Litigation Settlement Department at 3829 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St. Peters, Mo.

Missouri secretary of state records list the St. Peters address as home to Diversified Financial Protection Agency and Capital Debt Management. The records list John Jacob Ehlinger as president of Capital Debt Management. John J. Ehlinger is registered agent and the only incorporator of Diversified Financial Protection Agency. Capital Debt Management filed for incorporation in October 2009; Diversified Financial Protection Agency filed on Feb. 16, 2011.

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The BBB has issued two warnings on Ehlinger and Capital Debt Management since last summer. The company has an “F” grade with the BBB, the lowest grade possible.

Consumers told the BBB they paid the company for mortgage help, but received little or nothing in return. Company officials have blamed problems on partners—first in St. Louis County and later in California—who did not complete mortgage modification work.

A BBB investigator visited the address on Veterans Memorial Parkway. He found that previous references to Capital Debt Management had been replaced with the Diversified Financial Protection Agency name on the front door and in the reception area. Ehlinger and other officials of the companies did not respond to a BBB request for information.

Officials of Diversified Financial Protection Agency, Capital Debt Management, or both firms, apparently are now partnering with Mass Litigation Alliance of Hawthorne, Calif. The same toll-free phone number is on the Boone County and California solicitations and is one of several listed on a website for Mass Litigation Alliance. Mass Litigation Alliance filed corporate papers with the California secretary of state on Feb. 14, listing Philip A. Kramer of Calabasas, Calif., as the company’s agent.

Mass Litigation Alliance’s website describes Kramer as senior partner of Kramer & Kaslow, a Calabasas law firm with an “F” grade from the Los Angeles BBB. Consumers have filed more than 30 complaints about the firm. Most allege the firm didn’t fulfill contracts for loan modification or foreclosure related services, that the firm misrepresented its ability to provide service, or that the complainant was unable to obtain refunds of advance fees.” – Source


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