Suit filed against Colorado loan modification firm

Nick Rees Apr. 29, 2010, 5:33pm

John Suthers (R)

DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has announced the filing of a consumer protection lawsuit against a loan modification and foreclosure relief company, its owner and its principal employee over allegations of defrauding consumers.

The lawsuit, filed in Denver District Court, names American Mortgage Consultants, Oliver Paul Maldonado, its owner, and Santiago Fabian Pineda, its principal employee.

American Mortgage Consultants, the lawsuit alleges, used deceptive advertisements to lure approximately 170 consumers to its services from January 2009 through March 2010. Deceptive telephone marketing, direct mail, radio advertisements and Internet marketing were all allegedly used by the company and Maldonado to attract consumers.

The complaint also alleges that Maldonado used video of President Barack Obama and materials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to give the impression to consumers that it was affiliated with or partnering with the federal government.

Consumers that employed American Mortgage Consultants' services were allegedly charged $2,500 in upfront fees, which is illegal under Colorado law. The company, the complaint says, then did little to nothing to help its customers renegotiate or modify their home loans beyond sending loan modification applications to an Ohio-based company.

"Consumers should always be suspicious of any guarantees a loan modification company makes about being able to keep you in your home or reduce your loan payments," Suthers said. "American Mortgage Consultants' activities were especially troubling because they did virtually nothing for their 'customers' beyond taking their money."

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