Keith Loria Jul. 28, 2010, 10:57am
DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced on Monday that his office has obtained a judgment against a loan modification company accused of defrauding customers seeking debt relief on their loans.
American Mortgage Consultants, owner Oliver Paul Maldonado and employee Santiago Fabian Pineda allegedly used deceptive ads to attract consumers to the company's loan modification programs.
The company is accused of leading customers to believe that American Mortgage was affiliated with the federal government, which it wasn't, by using video of President Barack Obama and materials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
"The evidence showed American Mortgage Consultants manipulated consumers into believing that the company was affiliated with the federal government and could guarantee that consumers would be able to save their homes," Suthers said.
"In nearly every case, consumers who placed their trust in American Mortgage Consultants found themselves out $2,500 and with nothing to show for it. This judgment and the steep fines Mr. Maldonado and Mr. Pineda owe should serve as a warning to other scammers considering setting up shop in Colorado."
More than 170 customers sought help from American Mortgage between Jan. 2009-March 2010. American Mortgage allegedly did nothing for its customers but send loan modification applications to an Ohio-based business on their consumers' behalf.
Under terms of the judgment, American Mortgage and its officers are barred from engaging in any aspect of the mortgage business or continuing any fraudulent practices.
Maldonado, Pineda and American Mortgage are also required to pay $75,000 in fines and restitution to the state.