If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you might look for financial relief to help keep the roof over your head. Do you turn to your bank or mortgage lender for help? Maybe you got a mailer promising mortgage relief – via a lawsuit against banks and lenders? If you’ve thought about the last option, watch out for empty promises.
The FTC has filed charges against Brookstone Law and Advantis Law for defrauding people in financial distress. According to the FTC, these companies convinced people to pay at least $895 up front to join a mortgage fraud lawsuit against banks and lenders. Homeowners found out about this scheme through mailers which said the lawsuit would help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgage, or help them get money from their lenders.
But wait, there’s more. The FTC says people who visited these law offices to have their mortgage papers “evaluated” were told they had a strong case. Many of them then paid upfront and recurring monthly fees. But the FTC says that most of the companies’ proposed lawsuits were flat out dismissed. And, in many instances, the companies never even added paying homeowners as plaintiffs to any case. Which, of course, means that homeowners never got the help they were promised, but were out money they could ill afford to lose.
If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, contact your bank or mortgage lender for help. You can check out our Mortgage Relief Scams article for more information. Spot a mortgage relief scam? Report it to the FTC.