Calif. business will pay $67K in restitution

Bryan Cohen Oct. 10, 2011, 1:26pm


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced an agreement on Friday with a California loan modification company that allegedly promised loan modifications to more than two dozen Oregon homeowners that were never delivered.

Kroger and the Department of Consumer and Business Services announced the agreement with American Team Mortgage Inc., doing business as American Mortgage Relief, and Steve Hufstedler that will provide $67,000 in restitution to 28 Oregon homeowners, in addition to $65,000 to the state for its consumer protection efforts.

American and Hufstedler allegedly took illegal upfront fees to provide loan modifications and would not refund consumers after the modifications were not obtained.

"Distressed homeowners need help, not empty promises," Kroger said. "I want to thank DCBS for its work on this case."

As part of the agreement, the defendants are banned from foreclosure counseling, credit and debt counseling, loan modification and mortgage origination in Oregon.

"We are pleased to be able to provide restitution to consumers harmed by this company," said David Tatman, the administrator of the DCBS Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. "Unfortunately, there are more entities out there that prey on Oregonians struggling to keep their homes. We urge homeowners to be cautious and make sure a company is licensed by checking with our agency's website or calling us."

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