BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday that she has reached a settlement agreement with a former loan officer who allegedly violated foreclosure rescue regulations in the state.
Christian Hayes of Danvers allegedly misrepresented himself as an attorney and collected illegal fees from homeowners in relation to the foreclosure crisis. Hayes worked for Bank of America at the time and was the owner and principal of Foreclosure Alternatives, Coakley says.
Coakley alleged that while employed at Bank of America, Hayes illegally solicited loan modification services through Foreclosure Alternatives, his company. Hayes allegedly demanded up-front fees in amounts up to as much as $1,500.
"Homeowners who were seeking to save their homes from foreclosure were scammed by a bank employee who used his bank affiliation to gain their trust in seeking to avoid foreclosure," Coakley said. "It is particularly egregious when individuals who are legitimate bank employees exploit this status to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners."
State law prohibits unfair business practices that target homeowners facing foreclosure. Hayes' alleged actions violated these regulations.
Under terms of the agreement, Hayes is required to pay restitution in the amount of $6,350, which includes a civil penalty and costs associated with the litigation. Hayes must also stop engaging in any foreclosure rescue-related services in the state.