The Lawyers’ Committee Applauds the CFPB’s Recent Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Case, its First-Ever Civil Enforcement Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 1, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as a leader of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (the Network), applauds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its enforcement action against the Gordon Law Firm, et al. Though the foreclosure crisis began over four years ago, millions of homeowners continue to struggle and remain vulnerable to foreclosure rescue fraud. Through the efforts of homeowners, housing counselors, advocates and Network partners from across the country, the national Loan Modification Scam Database, managed by the Lawyers’ Committee, has collected more than 24,000 scam complaint reports since its launch in March 2010. These scam complaint reports allege that more than $59 million has been lost to foreclosure rescue fraud. Currently, the database contains no fewer than 60 complaint reports against the Gordon Law Firm. The Lawyers’ Committee estimates that the database represents only a small fraction of the harm caused to distressed homeowners by foreclosure rescue scams.
“With so many pressing consumer protection issues within its purview, we are delighted that the CFPB’s first civil court case attacks foreclosure rescue fraud,” said Yolanda McGill, Fair Housing and Fair Lending senior counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee. “The Federal Trade Commission and dozens of other government agencies have been relentlessly pursuing these fraudsters, and the Lawyers’ Committee is also filing impact cases that shut down some of these schemes, but there remain individuals and organizations intent on stealing money from distressed homeowners. We welcome the addition of the CFPB’s enforcement actions and commend them for launching their docket with a foreclosure rescue scam case that highlights the increasing involvement of attorneys in these scams.”
Hundreds of reports continue to be submitted every month on line, by mail and fax, and through calls to counseling hotlines. The information-sharing facilitated by the Network is crucial to rooting out shadowy operations that are stealing millions of dollars from distressed homeowners trying to save their homes from foreclosure. The broad coalition behind the Network includes dozens of local, state and federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that all play a part in collecting the scam details from affected homeowners and using that information to educate the public, and to investigate and pursue civil and criminal actions against scammers. Distressed homeowners and concerned citizens who witness scam activity or think they have been scammed are encouraged to continue to report that information to the Network.
To report a loan modification scam or other type of foreclosure rescue scam, go to preventloanscams.org. Victims can also get counseling help and submit scam reports by calling 888-995-HOPE (-4673).
About the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network
The Network is an innovative public/private sector collaboration of local, state and federal housing and consumer advocates and law enforcement agencies. It is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Open Society Foundation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi.
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.