An Orange County judge has ordered the operators of a loan modification scam to pay $4 million, including $2 million in restitution to 1,000 victims. The operators allegedly pocketed $2 million in up-front fees while falsely telling victims they could reduce mortgages by thousands of dollars. These scam artists routinely made extravagant and false promises to consumers.
The court’s order concludes a case brought in 2009 by the state attorney general. The defendants were Orange County-based Statewide Financial Group Inc., doing business as WeBeatAllRates.com and U.S. Homeowners Assistance, co-owners Hakimullah Sarpas and Zulmai Nazarzai and senior manager Fasela Sheren, also known as Sharon Fasela.
“These defendants took advantage of vulnerable people in extremely difficult circumstances, including many who faced the imminent loss of their homes,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “The significant financial penalties imposed by the court let scammers know that severe consequences will flow to those who defraud California consumers.”
The group boasted of a 97 percent success rate in negotiating loan modifications. It also claimed that it could reduce customers’ outstanding loan principal by as much as 20 percent. But when it came time to defend itself in court, the company could not present a single satisfied customer.
Separately, Attorney General Harris prosecuted Nazarzai for contempt of court for failing to turn over $360,000 in response to a court order. He has been held in Orange County Jail on contempt since December 2010 for his continued refusal to comply with the court order.
Please visit the Articles section of the Lawyers Realty Group website and familiarize yourself with the most prevalent foreclosure-related scams that are currently being investigated by the Attorney General of California, the State Bar of California, and the California Department of Real Estate. By law, all individuals and businesses offering mortgage-foreclosure consulting, loan-modification, and foreclosure-assistance services must register with the Attorney General’s office and post a $100,000 bond. It is also illegal for loan modification consultants and businesses to charge up-front fees for their services.
If you are in doubt about any solicitation you receive, please call us. Lawyers Realty Group offers a free legal review of all solicitations from realtors, lawyers, brokers, investors and others to help you determine the validity and viability of the claims being made. There is no obligation or commitment. The call could save you from a devastating misdirection.