The New Jersey Attorney General's office announced a now-closed loan modification company that took homeowners' cash without providing services will pay a $11.45 million judgment to settle civil charges with the state.
Using a website, New Hope Property LLC, of Bellmawr, N.J., promised consumers help with mortgage foreclosures and took upfront fees from about 2,000 people nationwide, New Jersey state AG spokesman Lee Moore said. In all, the company raked in about $4.5 million.
New Jersey filed suit in March 2009, charging New Hope with breaking the consumer fraud act, state advertising rules and the debt adjustment and credit counseling act. The lawsuit said New Hope didn't refund clients who asked for their money back after getting no help.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is working on liquidating the company's assets and any restitution to consumers will come from those funds, Moore told Consumer Ally.The state settlement doesn't stop victims from filing their own lawsuits in the case.
As part of the settlement, the website is shut down and New Hope is banned from selling debt adjustment, loan modification or foreclosure relief services in New Jersey. Owners Brian Mammoccio and Donna Fisher, both of Mullica Hill, N.J., relinquished their professional licenses and agreed not to ever apply for any banking license in New Jersey. Of the state judgment, Mammoccio agreed to pay $1.2 million and Fisher, $250,000. The company will pay $10 million.
"This company, and these individuals, made money by selling false hope to trusting people during their darkest financial hour," A.G. Paula T. Dow said in a statement. "It is appropriate that their professional licenses are revoked, and that they will never again be permitted to operate in our state."
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