SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced on Wednesday that he has reached a settlement with a loan modification company that stops it from doing any future work in the state.
The settlement was reached with the Law Offices of Stephen L. Burns, which allegedly collected advance fees for mortgage and foreclosure-related services that were never rendered.
"This office is committed to protecting Oregon homeowners from mortgage and foreclosure fraud," Deputy Attorney General Mary Williams said.
Burns was contacted after complaints about his actions were received by the Oregon Department of Justice's Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Burns was cooperative in dealing with them. One complaint said that Burns withdrew $1,500 from the bank account of an Oregon client to assist with a loan modification he never attempted to arrange.
The recently secured settlement requires Burns to repay $1,500 to the Oregon victim and $4,500 to the Oregon Department of Justice to support its continued efforts on behalf of Oregon consumers. Burns must also cease performing any foreclosure or loan modification activities in the state.
Since Kroger took office in January 2009, he has dedicated himself to combating mortgage rescue fraud and started the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which has settled more than a dozen mortgage-related cases and recovered more than $1.6 million to benefit Oregon consumers.