Atlanta, Georgia – Recently, the Department of Banking and Finance (“Department”) has been contacted by a number of consumers residing out of state inquiring about surety bonds allegedly issued by the Department in the amount of $500,000.00 to guarantee the performance of an entity purporting to be Georgia Escrow Services, Inc. (“Georgia Escrow”). The Department has not guaranteed the performance of any entity by the issuance of surety bonds or otherwise. The Department does not have the legal authority to guarantee the performance of third parties and, therefore, does not have the authority to act as a surety. The surety bonds provided to the Department are fraudulent documents. A copy of one of the surety bonds provided to the Department is attached to this notice.
Based on the consumer complaints, it appears as if all of these individuals had been contacted about selling their interests in timeshares in Mexico. All of the individuals that have contacted the Department indicated they were told that the properties would be sold at no cost to them. However, prior to the promised closing taking place, the consumers stated they were informed that funds were needed before the transaction could close. The consumers claimed that they remitted fees to an entity purporting to be Georgia Escrow after receiving a surety bond allegedly issued by the Department guaranteeing performance of the escrow agreement. According to the consumers that have contacted the Department, none of the closings have taken place.
Department of Banking and Finance
The Department is the state agency that regulates and examines Georgia state-chartered banks, state-chartered credit unions, and state-chartered trust companies. The Department also has responsibility for the supervision, regulation, and examination of Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Banks (MALPBs) chartered in Georgia. In addition, the Department has regulatory and/or licensing authority over mortgage brokers, lenders and processors, mortgage loan originators, check cashers, sale of check companies, money transmitters, international banking organizations, and bank holding companies conducting business in Georgia.