Spanish speaking homeowners facing foreclosure thought they’d get help to modify their mortgages. Instead they were swindled out of $995, to $1,500 by company in the Dominican Republic according to the Federal Trade Commission. A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago issued a temporary restraining order to shut down the operation while the FTC pursues the case.
Court papers say telemarketers called homeowners all across the country and claimed they represented a Chicago company. The FTC says they falsely promised homeowners help and often advised them to stop making mortgage payments. The sales people apparently also said lenders would forgive late fees and penalties once the mortgage modification was completed . Homeowners received forms and material in the mail that asked for extensive personal information and often waited in vain after they paid upfront fees. The FTC says any assistance they did get, they could have gotten by themselves for free.