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 Post subject: ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES LAW AND ASSOCIATES, LLC
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
LAW AND ASSOCIATES, LLC CLEARWATER FLORIDA

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES 14th COMPANY FOR MORTGAGE RESCUE FRAUD

Madigan Alleges Florida Company Takes Advantage of Homeowners
on the Verge of Losing their Homes to Foreclosure

Chicago – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today continued her aggressive legal

fight against mortgage fraud by filing a lawsuit against a Clearwater, Fla., company

which operates a rescue fraud scheme that preys on vulnerable homeowners on the verge

of foreclosure. This is the 14th lawsuit Attorney General Madigan has brought against

mortgage rescue fraud companies.

Madigan filed suit in Cook County against Law & Associates LLC, and its managing

member, Thomas E. Law, II, alleging the defendants violated the Mortgage Rescue Fraud

Act and the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by falsely promising

to help consumers save their homes after falling behind on their mortgage payments.

According to the complaint, the defendants charged consumers up to $1,900 and

promised to provide mortgage foreclosure rescue services that they either failed to

perform the services or only performed ineffective services. Attorney General

Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau has directly received one complaint relating to the

defendant and 68 complaints referred from the Better Business Bureau.

“In the midst of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, unscrupulous people are using so-

called mortgage rescue scams to prey on vulnerable homeowners,” Attorney General

Madigan said. “I am continuing to take aggressive action against these illegal

schemes to send the message that their deceptive and fraudulent practices are not

welcome in Illinois.”

Madigan’s lawsuit alleges Law & Associates market mortgage rescue services to at-risk

homeowners, encouraging them to call a toll-free number where they are told there is

an upfront fee of $1,990 for mortgage rescue services. Consumers who indicate they

cannot afford the charge are offered a reduced rate of $1,800 on a payment plan that

must be paid in full prior to them receiving any mortgage rescue services. The

defendants also promise desperate homeowners that the service fee is refundable if

the company is not able to successfully negotiate an agreement with the homeowners’

mortgage lenders or provide a “viable strategy” to avoid foreclosure. The lawsuit

alleges the defendants fail to provide the services promised and fail to refund the

service fee.

Madigan’s suit asks the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in mortgage

rescue practices. The suit also seeks a civil penalty of $50,000, additional

penalties of $50,000 for every violation found to have been committed with the intent

to defraud, and a $10,000 penalty for each violation committed against a person 65

years or older. Further, the suit asks the court to rescind the contracts signed as a

result of these deceptive practices and offer full restitution to affected consumers.

Finally, Madigan’s suit asks the court to order the defendants to pay all costs

associated with the investigation and prosecution of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is part of Madigan’s ongoing work to curtail the foreclosure crisis and

help Illinois families stay in their homes. Madigan’s office has sued 14 mortgage

rescue companies to stop deceptive practices and successfully participated in three

multi-state settlements against major subprime lenders: Household Finance, Ameriquest

and First Alliance Mortgage Company. To date, Madigan’s office has obtained nearly

$900 million in enforcement actions against these lenders.

Last year, Madigan announced a comprehensive strategy to address the looming home

foreclosure crisis in Illinois. As part of this effort, Madigan’s office hosted a

statewide home ownership preservation summit in July 2007, bringing together more

than 100 participants from the mortgage lending industry, consumer advocacy groups

and government agencies to identify problems and look for solutions to mortgage

foreclosures.

On the legislative front, Madigan worked to pass the High Risk Home Loan Act of 2003,

and drafted the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act of 2006, which was designed to deter scam

artists from preying on vulnerable homeowners on the verge of foreclosure. The

Attorney General also initiated and drafted the Illinois Homeownership Protection

Act, a new law that tightens controls on brokers and lenders to prevent consumers

from being unwittingly locked into questionable loan terms.

Madigan also has sued mortgage giant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., for deceptive and

fraudulent loan origination practices. Additionally, she has issued fair lending

subpoenas to Countrywide and Wells Fargo Financial Illinois, Inc., to determine

whether these companies steered African American and Latino borrowers into higher

cost or otherwise inappropriate home loans in violation of fair lending and civil

rights laws.

Madigan urged Illinois homeowners who are facing foreclosure to immediately contact

their mortgage company or a HUD-certified housing counselor for assistance. To get a

referral to a certified housing counselor or to learn more about the steps to take to

avoid foreclosure, homeowners can call Madigan’s Homeowners’ Referral Helpline at

1-866-544-7151 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Homeowners also can visit Attorney General Madigan’s Web site at

www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov, to access the Illinois Mortgage Lending Guide, a

resource manual containing step-by-step instructions for those struggling to make

their loan payments and a list of HUD-certified counseling agencies that offer

default counseling services. Homeowners who do not have easy access to the Internet

should call the Attorney General’s Referral Helpline to request a copy of the guide

by mail.

Assistant Attorney General Kevin Rouse is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer

Fraud Bureau.


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 Post subject: LAW AND ASSOCIATES, LLC claimed to be "non-profit"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
LAW AND ASSOCIATES LLC, CLEARWATER FLORIDA

Massachusetts Halts False Foreclosure "Rescue" Activity
Firm claimed to be "non-profit"

June 22, 2009

One by one, the state of Massachusetts is targeting firms that claim they can

"rescue" distressed homeowners from impending foreclosure. The Massachusetts Attorney

Generals office has obtained a preliminary injunction against defendants H.O.P.E.

Alliance, Inc., (H.O.P.E. Alliance), Law & Associates, LLC and Thomas E. Law, II.

The preliminary injunction prohibits the defendants from publishing advertisements

concerning foreclosure-related services, contacting Massachusetts consumers regarding

foreclosures or mortgages, and taking and/or soliciting advance fees from consumers.

The preliminary injunction follows a temporary restraining order granted against the

defendants in early June.

In a complaint centers on the all-too-common practice of soliciting unlawful advance

fees for foreclosure-related services, and unnecessarily delayed negotiations

regarding loan modifications. The two together, says Massachusetts Attorney General

Martha Coakley, usually pushes homeowners further into debt.

The complaint also alleges that H.O.P.E. Alliance, with the help of co-defendants Law

& Associates, LLC, and Thomas E. Law, II, solicited homeowners facing foreclosure by

sending letters that directed them to a toll-free number and to the website

www.helpnowalliance.org.

The website states that it is an alliance of nonprofit organizations and housing

counselors that can assist homeowners in obtaining a loan modification or stopping

foreclosure. The website also states that it is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit

organization.

"H.O.P.E. Alliance is not registered with the IRS or the Attorney General's Office as

a non-profit," Coakley said. The Attorney General's complaint also asserts that in

its letter to homeowners, H.O.P.E. Alliance deceptively used a similar name to the

government-sponsored non-profit organization, HOPE NOW Alliance.

During telephone calls with consumers, defendants apparently attempted to skirt the

law by asking for a "donation" instead of a fee, but Coakley says the request is

still an unlawful fee. Defendants also allegedly promised to obtain loan

modifications for consumers, and then after months of delay either failed to provide

any services or only provided inadequate assistance to homeowners.


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 Post subject: Law And Associates, LLC Clearwater Florida is not a law firm
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Thomas E. Law, II., so it appears this guy is not an attorney, yet is trying to capitalize on his last name and give the appearance of having the ability to do what he states.was sending out direct mail solicitations to Floridians who were going through the foreclosure process. The company offered foreclosure consulting services, but charged a large up front fee for those services, never followed through on the services, and failed to return monies despite a money back guarantee.LAW AND ASSOCIATES LLC, CLEARWATER FLORIDA.

As the whole world knows, Lee County, Florida is leading the nation in foreclosures. The cities in Lee County that are experiencing the highest foreclosure rate are Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres. According to the latest statistics, something like 1 in 86 homes in Lee County are in the foreclosure process, and not much is being done to fix the leak in the dam.

Of course, with every crisis, there will be scam artists who will try to make money from the less fortunate, and there will be those that try to stop the scam artists. The Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, recently filed a lawsuit against a business in Clearwater, Florida for the use of unfair and deceptive practices against the public. The company named Law & Associates, LLC was sending out direct mail solicitations to Floridians who were going through the foreclosure process. The company offered foreclosure consulting services, but charged a large up front fee for those services, never followed through on the services, and failed to return monies despite a money back guarantee.

This scam involves the company monitoring the public records for foreclosure filings. Once they obtain the names and addresses of the individuals being foreclosed upon, Law & Associates, LLC immediately starts a direct mail campaign aimed at getting the homeowner to pay the consulting fee. (Interestingly, a search of the Florida Bar’s website reveals that that there is no known member of the Florida Bar listed as Thomas E. Law, II., so it appears this guy is not an attorney, yet is trying to capitalize on his last name and give the appearance of having the ability to do what he states).

Either way, the distressed homeowner is told that they have 72 hours to contact the company and when they do contact the company, they are told that they are eligible for the program, but they have to come up with a consulting fee of $1,500 to $2,000 for the company to take their case.

If the distressed homeowners can come up with the funds, then they must sign a contract which pretty much waives the consumer’s rights to have their money back. To realize the impact of this strategy, you have to realize the vulnerability of the distressed homeowners. These are good people who are desperate to save their homes, and they have probably been around the block several times with their lenders trying to get the mortgage modified or had their payments sent back to them for one reason or another, and they just want some relief.

http://www.mortgagelawnetwork.com/2008/ ... g-service/


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