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N.C. AG Cooper alleges three are scamming homeowners

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 24, 2012


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper filed three lawsuits on Friday against three companies that claim to help people save their homes from foreclosure but are allegedly ripping homeowners off.

The lawsuits allege that the Charlotte-based Lender Exchange, Charlotte-based Community Mortgage Assistance Program and Wilmington-based Tidewater Financial charge consumers illegal fees for mortgage loan modification services. After assessing the fees, the businesses allegedly fail to provide consumers with meaningful assistance.

"These schemes promise to help save your home but instead drive you closer to foreclosure," Cooper said. "Victims lose precious money that could pay their mortgage, and critical time that could be spent negotiating real loan modifications."

In the state of North Carolina, it is illegal to charge upfront fees for loan modification and foreclosure assistance services.

Cooper alleges that the three companies promise struggling homeowners that their businesses can negotiate loan modifications on the consumers' behalf to save homes from foreclosure for an upfront fee. The consumers are allegedly told to stop paying their mortgages and cease communication with their mortgage services or lenders. The advice makes foreclosure more likely and the companies do little to nothing to help consumers save their homes, Cooper claims.

Cooper is requesting that the court ban the three companies and their principals from offering debt relief, loan modification and foreclosure services and force them to pay civil penalties and consumer refunds.

Cooper's office has received eight complaints about Lender Exchange and four complaints each about Tidewater Financial and the Community Mortgage Assistance Program.

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