Ariz. AG alleges scam against Spanish-speaking residents
TUSCON, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne filed a court action on Wednesday against a loan modification company and its owner for allegedly engaging in a scam primarily targeting Spanish-speaking residents.
Horne's action, filed in Pima County Superior Court, alleges that Mortgage Capital USA Inc. and Gustavo R. Anaya, the company's chief executive officer, used deceptive means to lure distressed homeowners hoping to fend off foreclosure. The defendants then allegedly took consumers' money without providing the services for which the consumer contracted.
"This company charges up-front fees for their services in violation of Arizona's consumer protection laws, and my office will always vigorously prosecute cases such as this," Horne said. "These fees are illegal because quite often the consumer never gets the services or goods they paid for."
The defendants allegedly charged up-front fees in violation of state and federal law and then kept the money regardless of the amount of work completed or the outcome of the loan modification application. In addition, the defendants allegedly held themselves up as legitimate loan modification companies but are not licensed to conduct loan modification services in Arizona.
To add the appearance of legitimacy to their operation, the defendants allegedly represented themselves as being a law firm or that they employed attorneys to work on loan modifications for consumers when neither assertion is true.
The defendants also allegedly exploited the Spanish-English language barrier of consumers by verbally affirming one set of terms in the agreement in Spanish when the written contract, offered only in English, often stated that the consumer agreed to different terms.