Hey, rest of the country that isn’t California! This is how you do it: California legislators went ahead and approved a sweeping bill on Monday that is basically a homeowner bill of rights, including ending abusive practices by mortgage lenders while at the same time helping homeowners evade the abyss of foreclosure. California ain’t kidding around.
It’s bad enough that banks have been negligent at implementing the government’s loan modification program, but now a BoA mortgage loan officer is being sued for making extra money illegally on struggling homeowners. According to the Boston Globe, a new lawsuit claims the employee was demanding as much as $1,500 from each borrower before offering help foreclosure help, and routing the funds through his own company, Foreclosure Alternatives. The lawsuit also alleges that the man falsely represented himself as an attorney for BoA.
Yesterday, as part of “Operation Loan Lies,” the FTC and 19 states filed 189 lawsuits, cease-and-desist orders, and other legal actions to shut down loan modification consultants who prey on desperate homeowners. The scammers offer to help solve foreclosure problems for a hefty fee; instead, they fail to modify the loan at all while collecting payments for their services, sometimes even encouraging homeowners to stop communicating with their lenders completely or to send payments to the consultants instead of the bank.