Mortgage Relief Scammers Banned from Debt Relief Business
The defendants pretended that they were affiliated with a government agency or private lenders
Five people charged with running a mortgage relief scam that preyed on distressed homeowners have been banned by a court from the debt relief and mortgage loan modification business.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought the case against the defendants in July 2014 as part of a federal-state law enforcement effort known as "Operation Mis-Modification." The FTC alleged that the defendants, who operated under the false names "2Apply" and "UW Solutions," falsely claimed that they were able to either lower the mortgage payments and interest rates consumers had to pay or prevent foreclosure. They acted as if they were affiliated with a government agency or consumers' private lenders or servicers, and they illegally charged advanced fees: $495 up front, then monthly fees averaging roughly $399.
Granting the FTC's request for a summary judgement against Tuan Dinh Duong means that the court found that Duong was aware of the false claims and actually directed the scheme, violating both the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule. Default judgement was also entered against Duong's four co-defendants.
The final orders issued by the court prohibit the defendants from selling either secured or unsecured debt relief products or services, as well as materially misrepresenting any and all financial or other products or services they may offer. A judgment of more than $1.7 million—representing the amount of money consumers lost in the scheme—was imposed by the court's orders.
A summary judgement was entered by the court against Duong on March 1, 2016, while a default judgement order against Christian D. Quezada, CD Capital Investments LLC, CD Capital LLC, and GDS Information Services, Inc., was entered on August 22, 2016. The case against Gabriel D. Stewart is still in litigation.