News that will enlighten you from the Thordsen Law Offices:
- JPMorgan Chase giving refunds for bad debt collection practices.
- Misclassify a California Employee as an Independent Contractor and you to can owe the state over $179,000.00
- $820,000 to be returned to121 Californians in San Diego County and Riverside County who were deceived about foreclosure rescue schemes.
- San Diego, California man pleads guilty to mortgage loan modification fraud.
- Two more in Northern California plead guilty to rigging bids at public foreclosure sales and the arrests continue onward. A word to the wise. Anyone that had anything to do with rigging bids in the last ten years contact your attorney. The prosecutors have ten years to file a criminal complaint.
- Three real estate developers in Miami draw prison terms up to ten years for $27.8 million mortgage fraud and forfeit over $56 million in assets-eleven others already convicted. total is now fourteen and counting.
Need to discuss issues of law on personal injury, probate, trusts, defense of civil or criminal? Call for a free telephone consultation at888-667-8529. We have three of the best trial lawyers in the state available on personal injury, criminal and employment law. For trusts you ask for Sean.
IF YOU HAD OR HAVE CREDIT WITH JP MORGAN CHASE YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A REFUND OVER BAD DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES
THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, 47 STATES AND WASHINGTON, D.C. TAKE ACTION AGAINST JP MORGAN CHASE FOR SELLING BAD CREDIT CARD DEBT AND ROBO-SIGNING COURT DOCUMENTS TO THE TUNE OF $216 MILLION
Chase Ordered to Overhaul Debt Sales and Halt Collections on 528,000 Consumersâ€™ Accounts.
On July 9, 2015 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Attorneys General in 47 states and the District of Columbia took action against JPMorgan Chase for selling bad credit card debt and illegally robo-signing court documents. The CFPB and states found that CHASE SOLD “ZOMBIE DEBTS” TO THIRD-PARTY DEBT BUYERS, WHICH INCLUDE ACCOUNTS THAT WERE INACCURATE, SETTLED, DISCHARGED IN BANKRUPTCY, NOT OWED, OR OTHERWISE NOT COLLECTIBLE.
The order requires Chase to document and confirm debts before selling them to debt buyers or filing collections lawsuits. CHASE MUST ALSO PROHIBIT DEBT BUYERS FROM RESELLING DEBT and is barred from selling certain debts. Chase is ordered to permanently stop all attempts to collect, enforce in court, or sell more than 528,000 consumer’s accounts. Chase will pay at least $50 million in consumer refunds, $136 million in penalties and payments to the CFPB and states, and a $30 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in a related action.
From 2009 to 2013, when consumers defaulted on debts, Chase attempted to collect by contacting consumers, filing collections lawsuits, and selling accounts to third-party debt buyers. When Chase sold accounts, it provided debt buyers with an electronic sale file containing certain basic information about the debts from Chase’s internal databases, which the debt buyers used to collect on the debts. Chase was also responsible for preparing affidavits to verify debts when it or its debt buyers filed lawsuits to collect on defaulted credit card debts.
The CFPB found that Chase violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s prohibitions against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices. Chase sold faulty and false debts to third-party collectors, including accounts with unlawfully obtained judgments, inaccurate balances, and paid-off balances. Chase also sold debts that were owed by deceased borrowers. Chase also filed misleading debt-collections lawsuits against consumers using robo-signed and illegally sworn statements to obtain false or inaccurate judgments for unverified debts. Specifically, the CFPB and states found that Chase:
Sold bad debts to third-party debt buyers: Chase sold certain accounts that had already been settled by agreement, paid in full, discharged in bankruptcy, identified as fraudulent and not owed by the debtor, subject to an agreed-upon payment plan, no longer owned by Chase, or that were otherwise no longer enforceable. Chase also sold debts with missing or erroneous information such as whether the debt had been paid and the amount owed.
Assisted third-party debt buyers in deceptively collecting debt: By selling inaccurate or uncollectable debts, Chase subjected certain consumers to debt collection by its debt buyers on accounts that were not theirs, in amounts that were incorrect or uncollectable. Chase knew, or should have known, that third-party debt buyers would seek to collect these faulty debts. Therefore, by providing inadequate or incorrect information, Chase assisted debt buyers in deceptive collection activities.
Robo-signed affidavits to sue consumers for unverified debt: Chase filed more than 528,000 debt collections lawsuits against consumers and provided more than 150,000 sworn statements to debt buyers for their collections lawsuits against consumers, often using robo-signed documents. In doing so, Chase systematically failed to prepare, review, and execute truthful statements as required by law. Chase also made calculation errors when filing debt collection lawsuits that sometimes resulted in judgments against consumers for incorrect amounts. Chase failed to notify consumers and the courts once it learned of these problems.
Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB HAS THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST INSTITUTIONS OR INDIVIDUALS ENGAGING IN UNFAIR, DECEPTIVE, OR ABUSIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES OR THAT OTHERWISE VIOLATE FEDERAL CONSUMER FINANCIAL LAWS. Chase suspended collections litigation in 2011 and stopped selling debts in 2013. The CFPB and state actions provide relief for injured consumers, prohibit Chase from reviving its unlawful practices, and impose penalties for Chase’s law violations.
Specifically, the order requires Chase to:
Cease collecting on 528,000 accounts: CHASE CANNOT COLLECT, ENFORCE IN COURT, SELL, OR TRANSFER DEBTS FOR CONSUMERS WHOSE CHASE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS WERE SENT TO COLLECTIONS LITIGATION BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 2009 TO JUNE 30, 2014. If Chase previously obtained a court judgment requiring consumers to pay the debt, Chase will notify the consumer that they will not try to collect, enforce, or sell the judgment. Chase will also contact the three major credit reporting companies to request that the judgments not be reported against consumers. These accounts had an original face value estimated at several billion dollars when Chase sent them to collections litigation. The actual market value is now estimated in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Debt relief of this kind permanently protects consumers from any further collections and judgments on these accounts.
Pay at least $50 million in cash redress to consumers: Chase will pay cash refunds to consumers against whom collections litigation was pending between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014, for amounts paid above what the consumer owed when the debt was referred for litigation, plus 25 percent of the excess amount paid.
Prohibit debt buyers from reselling accounts: Chase must require by contract or agreement that debt buyers cannot resell debts purchased from Chase, unless to sell back to Chase.
Confirm debt before selling to debt buyers: Chase cannot sell debts that have been paid, settled, discharged, or are otherwise uncollectable. Prior to sale, Chase must provide account-level documentation to debt buyers confirming that the debts are accurate and enforceable. For a minimum of three years after selling the debt, Chase must make certain additional account information available to debt buyers including agreements, statements, and dispute records.
Notify consumers that their debt has been sold and make their account information available to them: Chase must notify consumers when their account is sold and reveal who purchased the account, the amount owed at the time of sale, and that consumers can request further information about their accounts at no charge.
Not sell zombie debts and other specified debts: Chase may not sell debts that do not have the required documentation, have been charged off for over three years or where the consumer has not paid for three years, are in litigation, are owed by a servicemember, are owed by someone who is deceased, or where the debtor has a payment plan.
Withdraw, dismiss, or terminate collections litigation: Chase will withdraw, dismiss, or terminate all pre-judgment collections litigation pending at any time after January 1, 2009.
Stop robo-signing affidavits: Declarations must be signed by hand, must reflect the actual date of signing, and must be based on the direct knowledge of the person signing and their review of Chaseâ€™s business records. Supporting documents submitted for debt collection litigation must be actual records of the debt, verified to be accurate, and not created solely for litigation.
Verify debts when filing a lawsuit: When filing collections lawsuits, Chase is required to submit specific information associated with the debt including the name of the creditor at the time of the last payment, the date of the last extension of credit, the date of the last payment, the amount of debt owed, and a breakdown of any post-charge-off interest and fees.
Pay $30 million civil penalty: Chase will pay a fine for its unlawful debt sales and robo-signing practices. (BANKRATE7815)
That is the purpose of the various fair debt collection acts such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the California Rosenthal Act and the federal unfair, deceptive and abusive acts or practices. (UDAAP). If you have borrowers looking to refi or purchase and there is A Chase derog on the credit report there is a decent chance you can get it removed if it fits this mold and increase the score accordingly.
MISCLASSIFY A CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEE AS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
As of July 7, 2015 a Superior Court judge last week sided with the Labor Commissionerâ€™s Office and found LACA EXPRESS INC., a Los Angeles trucking company misclassified an employee as an independent contractor. The court affirmed that Laca Express Inc. owes driver Ho Woo Lee $179,390 in back wages and expenses unlawfully deducted from his paycheck.
In his claim filed with the Los Angeles Labor Commissioner’s office, Lee said Laca Express unlawfully deducted $83,292 from his paycheck in violation of Labor Code section 221. Leeâ€™s claim included more than $80,000 in weekly lease and insurance payments that were deducted from his paycheck for a truck that Laca repossessed after terminating Leeâ€™s employment. The Labor Commissioner’s Office issued an Order, Decision or Award (ODA) in Leeâ€™s favor for $161,205.
Laca appealed the ODA, and the Labor Commissionerâ€™s Office represented Lee in the Los Angeles Superior Court case. Judge Ross Klein determined that Lee was owed $179,390 plus costs and attorneyâ€™s fees for unlawfully deducted wages, reimbursable expenses (such as fuel and truck repair costs), interest and penalties. (DIR2015-62, 7-7-15)
Labor Commissioner attorneys represent you. Claim filed with Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Hearing held. Employer did not like results and appealed to Superior Court. Labor Commissioner supplies lawyer to employee at no cost. Labor Commissioner wins for employee and court probably awarded attorney fees to the Labor Commissioner. Now I would like Mortgage Loan Originator Organizations to give this a lot of thought!
$820,000 TO BE RETURNED TO 121 CALIFORNIANS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY WHO WERE DECEIVED ABOUT FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCHEMES
On July 8, 2014, it was announced that restitution checks totaling $820,000 will be mailed to 121 people, some of them from the Inland empire after a foreclosure avoidance scheme that put WILLIAM HUTCHINGS AND NINE OTHERS BEHIND BARS, San Diego County prosecutors say.
The case had Hutchings and others persuading people who wanted to avoid foreclosure to turn over grant deeds to their homes in Riverside and San Diego counties. Most of the victims spoke little English.
As part of the scheme, the homeowners rented back their homes from Hutchings or paid $10,000 in lease-back or land grant fees. All but nine of the victims lost their homes anyway, prosecutors say. The $10,000 fee and rent money rarely, if ever, made its way to pay victims’ mortgages, prosecutors say.
Most of the victims were from San Diego County, he said, but the scheme was not limited to the coast. Three to four victims once owned homes in foreclosure distress in Murrieta, Moreno Valley and Riverside, he said. (present7815)
Some get their money back. Mr. Hutchings and nine others received â€œtimeâ€ instead of money.
CHARLES ROSE OF SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA PLEADS GUILTY TO MORTGAGE LOAN MODIFICATION FRAUD
On July 8, 2019 CHARLES ROSE, 32 a San Diego businessman pleaded guilty to defrauding mortgage loan modification customers by making false statements about services he sold to distressed homeowners.
Charles Rose, 32, admitted that he managed a call center staffed with as many as 30 telemarketers who made false statements in order to encourage potential clients to pay a $3,500 fee to a law “firm” that was staffed with just one figurehead attorney.
Rose also admitted that he failed to report more than $120,000 in 2010 income from the venture to the Internal Revenue Service.
The DEFENDANT WORKED WITH ATTORNEY MOHAMMED HAFFAR, who has pleaded guilty to tax charges relating to the loan modification venture. Haffar, 36, admitted that he had no prior knowledge or experience in loan modifications when he started the business in 2008. He admitted that his law firm convinced more than 1,000 clients to retain Haffar & Associates for loan modifications.
Rose admitted that he and his business partners trained telemarketers to make statements to potential clients that were false, such as “Haffar & Associates has a 98 percent success rate.”
After Haffar & Associates stopped doing new business, Rose and a partner started a new company, selling a product they claimed would facilitate mortgage lenders’ review of homeownersâ€™ applications for loan modifications. Rose admitted that they told homeowners that the product was the only available tool that could definitely tell homeowners the modification terms their lenders would provide.
Haffar was formally disbarred in June 2012 and ordered to pay more than $192,000 to reimburse former clients. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in prison.
Another participant who worked for Rose’s telemarketing company, 54-YEAR- OLD STACY TUERS, pleaded guilty to tax charges in May. Tuers admitted that he knew the telemarketers were making false statements to potential clients, but continued to sell Haffar & Associates loan modification services. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20. Rose is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5.(ctnwserv7815)
It would appear the federal prosecutors are still working on 2008 mortgage fraud schemes including false loan applications, false occupancy statements on the 1003 â€œprimary residence,â€ false income and they have TEN YEARS from the close of the loan to file a criminal complaint.
TWO IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE INVESTORS PLEAD GUILTY TO RIGGING BIDS AT PUBLIC FORECLOSURE SALES
On July 8, 2015 two Northern California real estate investors pleaded guilty for their role in bid-rigging conspiracies and mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions.
REAL ESTATE INVESTORS JOHN SHIELLS, OF DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA, AND MIGUEL DE SANZ, OF SAN FRANCISCO, each pleaded guilty to three counts of bid rigging and three counts of mail fraud in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in Oakland, California.
To date, 56 INDIVIDUALS HAVE PLEADED GUILTY TO CRIMINAL CHARGES AS A RESULT OF THE DEPARTMENTâ€™S ONGOING ANTITRUST INVESTIGATIONS INTO BID RIGGING AND FRAUD AT PUBLIC FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
IN ADDITION, MULTI-COUNT INDICTMENTS ARE PENDING AGAINST 19 REAL ESTATE INVESTORS THAT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR THEIR ROLES IN BID-RIGGING AND FRAUD SCHEMES AT FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS IN ALAMEDA, CONTRA COSTA, SAN MATEO AND SAN FRANCISCO COUNTIES.
Shiells and De Sanz agreed not to compete to purchase selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions, designated which conspirator would win the selected properties and refrained from bidding on the selected properties at the public auctions. This collusion began in Alameda County as early as June 2007; in Contra Costa County as July 2008; and in San Francisco County as early as November 2008. The deals continued until approximately January 2011.
Both Shiells and De Sanz were also charged with using the mail to carry out the schemes to fraudulently acquire the titles to selected properties sold at public auctions in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties, to make and receive payoffs and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and other beneficiaries.
Each violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. The maximum fine for violations of the Sherman Act may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater than $1 million. Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. (usattcand7815)
56 have pleaded guilty. They are chasing others involved going back 8 years and 19 more pending. I wonder if any of the 19 have sought legal counsel or are even aware of the pending indictments? Call if you would like to discuss this because the federal prosecutors are â€œhot and heavyâ€ after this as you can see from my prior e Alerts. And remember, they have ten years to chase using the mail fraud statute.
THREE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS IN MIAMI, FLORIDA DRAW PRISON TERMS UP TO TEN YEARS FOR $27.8 MILLION MORTGAGE FRAUD AND TO FORFEIT OVER $56 MILLION IN ASSETS-ELEVEN OTHERS ALREADY CONVICTED. TOTAL IS NOW FOURTEEN ON THIS ONE FRAUD
On July 8, 2015 STAVROULA MENDEZ, 68, WAS SENTENCED TO 135 MONTHS IN PRISON; LAZARO MENDEZ, 42, WAS SENTENCED TO 108 MONTHS IN PRISON; AND MARIE MENDEZ, 49, WAS SENTENCED TO 57 MONTHS IN PRISON. U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz of the Southern District of Florida also ordered each of the defendants to forfeit $35,252,331 in fraudulent proceeds and to pay $21,240,064 in restitution.Eleven other co-conspirators were previously convicted of fraud in connection with the scheme.
Stavroula Mendez, Lazaro Mendez and Marie Mendez owned, controlled or managed various condominium developments in the Miami area. The defendants facilitated payments to straw buyers as well as the submission of false loan applications on behalf of the straw buyers to secure mortgages to purchase units in the developments. Once the units were sold, the defendants retained both the profits from the sales and control over the units.
Lazaro Mendez recruited family members and others to be straw buyers of units that he controlled at one development and that he facilitated the submission of false loan applications. In addition, Lazaro Mendez enlisted mortgage brokers and another individual to recruit straw buyers and to assist them in obtaining fraudulent loans. Lazaro Mendez received kickbacks for each referred buyer.
After units were sold at a development Stavroula Mendez and her husband controlled, Stavroula Mendez funneled a portion of the loan proceeds to shell companies to pay the straw buyersâ€™ closing cash obligations and mortgage payments.In 2008 and 2009, Stavroula Mendez used other shell companies to divert more than $2 million of the fraudulent proceeds to bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Marie Mendez used rental payments received by the conspirators to make mortgage payments, and directed cash to another individual to make mortgage payments on behalf of straw buyers. Marie Mendez submitted fraudulent loan applications for three condominium units that were purchased in her name.
Eventually, the defendants and their co-conspirators were unable to make mortgage payments, which caused dozens of condominium units to go into foreclosure. The scheme caused the Federal Housing Administration, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and private lenders to sustain combined losses of $27.8 million. (dojfl7815)
Please note this goes back to 2008 mortgage fraud over seven years ago! It takes time to build a case when it is made of paper trails. Some may wonder why I put all the detail. It is there to invite some who may believe that something they were involved in unintentionally could be questionable and maybe they should have a consultation with their attorney to check out the risk factor.
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