Georgia Cases Part of National 'Operation Stolen Hope'

November 24, 2009


Atlanta, Georgia ~ Georgia Banking Commissioner Robert Braswell today joined federal and state officials to crack down on loan modification and foreclosure relief scams, by the issuance of Cease and Desist Orders against individuals and companies who advertised unlicensed loan modification services to take hard-earned money from distressed Georgia homeowners.

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Justice, and 19 other states to announce ‘Operation Stolen Hope”, a national crackdown involving law enforcement and regulatory actions against mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification operations.

“With money tight, many homeowners are having trouble making their mortgage payments and turning to scammers who promise relief,” Commissioner Braswell said. “There is legitimate help available at no cost for homeowners.   I would encourage anyone facing foreclosure to talk to a certified non-profit counselor, and to talk with his or her lender.” 

According to Commissioner Braswell, people facing foreclosure should avoid anyone who requires an advance fee or guarantees results, and anyone who advises them to stop making mortgage payments or to stop communicating with their mortgage lender.

The FTC has created “Real People. Real Stories,” a video featuring stories of people who were targeted by scammers.  The video explains that free help is available from the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline 888-99-HOPE (4673), which offers counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   The video is available at FTC.gov/yourhome and YouTube.com/FTCVideos.

Georgia consumers can report scams to the FTC at 1-877-FTC-Help or at FTC.gov.

 

The Department has regulatory and/or licensing authority over state-chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders, mortgage processors, mortgage loan originators, check cashers, sale of check companies, money transmitters, international banking organizations, and bank holding companies conducting business in Georgia.  Visit us on the Web at: http://dbf.georgia.gov/

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