Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Safeguard Properties, based in Ohio, recently reached a settlement that will resolve claims about the inadequate procedures and policies of the company.
The settlement pertains to Marylanders who were locked outside their homes, who had property damaged or who had belongings stolen.
Safeguard is currently the biggest mortgage field services company within the United States. It contracts with mortgage servicers and lenders to offer maintenance, inspection, and repair to homes either in foreclosure or in default.
According to the settlement, Safeguard must reform its business practices to protect its homeowners from future abuses. It must also return the money from the Marylanders.
According to the allegations, Safeguard did not properly train, screen or supervise its vendor network. These vendors preserve and inspect work throughout Maryland. After customers made countless complaints directly to Safeguard concerning the vendors’ improper conduct, the situation had to be remedied.
"Even when a home is in default or foreclosure, lenders and their agents must still comply with state law and respect the rights of homeowners and occupants," Frosh said. "This settlement is significant, not only because of the restitution that will be distributed to consumers, but also because of the strengthened protocols and procedures that aim to protect homeowners from future abuses."