PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced Wednesday he obtained $470,000 as part of agreements with the owner of a loan modification company to resolve allegations of deceptive loan modification services.

Stan Nii-Addo Allotey Jr., the owner of Mortgage Relief Group, doing business as Mortgage Assistance Group, admitted to violating the Arizona Foreclosure Consultant Regulation Law, the Arizona Telephone Solicitations Act and the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Under the terms of the settlement, Allotey will pay $90,000 in civil penalties and restitution. In May, Horne obtained a default judgment against Mortgage Assistance Group requiring the company to pay $380,000.

"We are giving priority to mortgage fraud cases because the people being cheated, who are facing foreclosure, can least afford to lose money," Horne said. "Cases such as this should be a reminder that nobody should ever agree to pay up-front fees for loan modification assistance services - these services are available for free."

Horne's lawsuit against Allotey and Mortgage Assistance Group alleged the defendants deceived consumers into paying fees for loan modification services by misrepresenting their ability to help consumers save their homes. The defendants allegedly charged fees ranging from $995 to $3,245 for the services.

The defendants also allegedly used deceptive means to lure financially stressed homeowners to pay up-front fees with promises the company could negotiate modifications of mortgage loans.

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