The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 1,455 refund checks to consumers defrauded by a mortgage loan modification and foreclosure rescue scam.
The FTC alleged that operators of the scam falsely told consumers they would prevent their homes from being foreclosed and negotiate lower mortgage interest rates, monthly payments and principal balances.
The court also found that homeowners got few, if any, loan modifications, and many people lost their homes to foreclosure after paying up to $5,500.
In April 2010, a federal court issued an $11.4 million contempt order against defendants Bryan D’Antonio, The Rodis Law Group Inc., America’s Law Group and The Financial Group Inc. for operating the scam.
The scam violated a 2001 order that banned D’Antonio from telemarketing and misleading consumers about goods or services. The FTC obtained the 2001 order against D’Antonio and his former company, Data Medical Capital Inc., for operating a work-at-home medical billing opportunity scheme.
The defendants originally claimed that their selectivity in choosing customers helped them succeed, but they took on nearly every consumer willing to pay, according to the FTC.
The defendants also falsely claimed that they would provide experienced real estate attorneys who would represent customers nationwide, and would review consumers’ loan documents to look for fraud and other lending violations.