April 9, 2010 in Business

State orders end to loan ‘notices’

Company made false claims about banks
By The Spokesman-Review

The Idaho Department of Finance has ordered a California company to stop using false claims of possible predatory lending to entice homeowners into a mortgage modification program with a $1,250 up-front fee.

The Relief Law Center, also doing business as USA Loan Auditors, is not licensed to provide mortgage modification services in Idaho, said department Director Gavin Gee, who called the bogus claims of predatory lending “reprehensible.”

The order says an investigator called the Relief Law Center after the department documented three consumer complaints regarding “notices” their lenders, who were identified by name, were being investigated for predatory lending.

Mike Larsen, head of the department’s Consumer Finance Bureau, said banks were also angry about the allegations being made against them by the California companies.

The department’s investigator spoke with a man who identified himself as Steve Fattorusso, a legal assistant. Fattorusso asked some questions, then steered the conversation toward mortgage modification.

He later e-mailed enrollment forms.

Besides lacking a license to make or broker a loan, Relief Law Center made false statements, and used bank names without their consent, the order says.

Relief Law Center, with only a post office box as an address, can ask the department to reconsider its action.

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