The PA Attorney General issued a press release announcing a legal action, in the form of an assurance of voluntary compliance (AVC), against two Philadelphia-based mortgage loan modification companies that will provide $30,000 in restitution for consumers.
The Press Release is set forth in full below:
The AVC was reached with Liberty Financial Consultants, Inc. and Doc Prep Solutions, LLC as the result of an investigation by the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The AVC alleges the companies made a number of misleading representations throughout their websites. For example, Liberty Financial Consultants advertised for a "forensic loan audit," among other services.
The company allegedly stated the audit could expose mistakes and unscrupulous lending practices that may assist the borrower in negotiating efforts to obtain mortgage payment relief or loan modifications. Liberty Financial Consultants claimed to use the audit results to apply for mortgage relief with consumers' lenders, the AVC states.
According to the AVC, the Bureau of Consumer Protection received several complaints in which consumers reported they paid up front fees for these types of services but received little, if any, assistance from the companies. The Bureau's investigation was the result of complaints filed by consumers against the companies, some of which claimed the companies failed to stop foreclosures as promised and others claimed that the companies did not provide refunds as promised.
Additionally, the AVC alleges the companies acted or held themselves out to the public as being entitled to practice law when in fact their representatives were not licensed attorneys. Doc Prep Solutions also posted a video to its website that the Bureau of Consumer Protection believes falsely depicted a Commonwealth representative conducting an interview with Doc Prep's principals.
According to the AVC, the companies have agreed to comply with the Consumer Protection Law, the Telemarketer Registration Act and the Unauthorized Practice of Law statute. In addition to the $30,000 in consumer restitution, the companies must pay $3,000 in civil penalties and $2,000 in other costs.
The AVC also stated there may be additional consumers who have been harmed by the companies' alleged conduct. Consumers who were affected between 2008 and the present may be eligible for restitution. They have until Aug. 28 to file a complaint with the Bureau.