McCollum secures more than $3M in civil penalties

By Keith Loria | Oct 18, 2010


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Friday that he has received a $4.3 million dollar judgment against a Florida loan modification operation that allegedly violated the state's Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act.

Wineberg, Lopez, & Rodriguez, and its owners -- William Rodriguez Jr., and Freddie Lopez Sr. -- allegedly charged consumers up-front fees for loan modifications, which is illegal under Florida law.

Consumers allegedly paid as much as $1,995 for loan modifications that were never completed.

More than $3 million of the judgment is civil penalties for the up-front fees allegedly charged to consumers by the defendants. More than $1 million in consumer restitution will be given to the hundreds of consumers who filed complaints with McCollum¹s office. The final $140,000 will be applied to the costs of the litigation.

In addition to the financial settlement, the defendants are also required to follow all applicable Florida laws.

Rodriguez is also a defendant in a lawsuit McCollum filed against National Payment Modification Company and The Bostonian Group, which is also alleged to have charged illegal up-front fees.

In August, McCollum's office received a judgment against Rodriguez for almost a half-million dollars in civil penalties, restitution and attorney's fees.

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