SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) — The Justice Department has
announced a lawsuit against a multitude of mortgage loan modification service
providers, alleging violations of the federal Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit
The department alleges these companies intentionally discriminated
against Hispanic homeowners. The companies purportedly gave predatory mortgage
loan modification services specifically to Hispanic home owners.
The defendants in the lawsuit are The Home Loan Auditors
LLC, Century Law Center LLC, SOE Assistance Center Inc., Spieker Law Office and
the principals of these entities: Omar Alcaraz, Araceli Castro, Oralia
Gutierrez, Hortencia Leon, Raul Luna, Elena Ramirez and David Spieker.
“Intentionally targeting any community or person with
predatory mortgage services because of their ethnicity or national origin
violates federal law, harms working families and hurts our entire economy,”
said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the
Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Gupta said the department’s lawsuit serves as a
reminder that it will work to ensure all homeowners can gain access to mortgage
services free from discrimination.
Gustavo F. Velasquez, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair
Housing and Equal Opportunity added that Hispanic families do not need empty
promises that end up worsening their situations.
“HUD is gratified that the Department of Justice is taking
action against individuals and companies that victimize homeowners because of
where they come from or because they speak Spanish or other languages,”