PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne obtained a consent judgment on Monday prohibiting a resident of Maricopa County from providing mortgage or other consumer loan modification services to Arizona consumers.
The consent judgment with Maria Elena Alvarez follows a consumer fraud action filed against Alvarez by Horne's office in November that alleged she falsely represented to homeowners that she could obtain lower mortgage payments on consumers' homes.
According to the consumer fraud action, Alvarez represented that homeowners, as part of the mortgage modification process, needed to send mortgage payments to her and not to their lenders. Alvarez allegedly said that she would forward the payments to lenders.
Instead of sending the payments as promised, however, Horne alleged that Alvarez kept the funds for her own use in violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Her alleged actions negatively affect the credit ratings of her clients and, in at least one instance, caused a client to almost lose his home after it was scheduled for a Trustee's Sale.
The consent judgment, which prohibits Alvarez from providing mortgage modifications, also requires her to pay consumer restitution and the costs and fees of Horne's office.
The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions took a separate enforcement action against Alvarez for engaging in unlicensed mortgage loan originator activities.