Colo. AG cracks down on mortgage and foreclosure fraud
DENVER (Legal Newsline) -- In an effort to crack down on mortgage and foreclosure fraud, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is taking legal actions against a mortgage firm, its owner and an employee who were victimizing Colorado borrowers.
Suthers' complaint names American Mortgage Consultants, an Aurora, Colo.-based loan modification company, owner Oliver Paul Maldonado and employee Santiago Fabian Pineda. The firm is accused of allegedly using deceptive trade practices to entice customers and of illegally collecting up-front fees for its services.
"The problem of mortgage brokers falsifying consumers' earnings or wrongly vouching for their abilities to pay back steep loans has undoubtedly contributed to Colorado's foreclosure crisis," Suthers said. "Loan modification and foreclosure rescue firms also have only exacerbated Colorado's foreclosure crisis. These firms, like fraudulent mortgage brokers, prey on consumers' hopes of owning their homes."
Suthers' actions come as part of "Operation Stolen Dreams," a joint sweep by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission in nine states that resulted in 101 actions against loan modification companies.
Suthers took part in a similar sweep last November, reaching assurances of voluntary compliance with An T. Nguyen, the vice president of Home Mortgage Solutions Inc., a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company and Leonard D. Smith, the company's branch manager.
Both Smith and Nguyen are required to make proper disclosure to their clients concerning home loans and to make full disclose of the terms and interest rates in any advertisement about mortgage products as a result of the assurances of voluntary compliance reached with Suthers.