ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM HORNE OBTAINS $470,000 JUDGMENT IN CONSUMER FRAUD CASE
Nov. 23, 2013
Phoenix, AZ (Wednesday, November 6, 2013) –Attorney General Tom Horne is announcing the settlement of a consumer fraud case against Stan Nii-Addo Allotey, Jr., owner of Mortgage Relief Group, d.b.a. Mortgage Assistance Group, for engaging in deceptive loan modification services. Mr. Allotey and his company are now barred from conducting any foreclosure consulting business and engaging in telephone solicitation sales.
In the Consent Judgment, Mr. Allotey admitted to violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, the Arizona Telephone Solicitations Act, and the Arizona Foreclosure Consultant Regulation Law. The settlement provides for payment of $90,000 in restitution and civil penalties. In May of 2013, Horne also obtained a Default Judgment against Mortgage Assistance Group. The Default Judgment requires the company to pay $380,000 in restitution and civil penalties.
This case comes to an end after Mr. Allotey initially refused to cooperate with the State’s investigation. His refusal ultimately led to a week in jail until he complied with the court’s civil Contempt Order.
The lawsuit alleged that since at least February of 2008, the defendants deceived consumers into paying fees, ranging from $995 to $3,245, for loan modification services by misrepresenting their ability to help consumers obtain mortgage relief and save their homes, thereby violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Mr. Allotey and his company were also accused of using deceptive means to lure financially distressed homeowners into paying up-front fees with promises that the company would prevent foreclosure and save the consumers’ homes by negotiating modifications of mortgage loans.
Attorney General Horne noted, “We are giving priority to mortgage fraud cases because the people being cheated, who are facing foreclosure, can least afford to lose money. Cases such as this should be a reminder that nobody should ever agree to pay up-front fees for loan modification assistance services – these services are available for free.”
The Attorney General recommends that homeowners who are in or facing foreclosure contact their lender or servicer or a government-approved housing counselor. The Arizona Foreclosure Help-Line, 1-877-448-1211, refers consumers to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies who provide loan modifications and other services at no cost.
If you feel you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 / (520) 628-6504 / (800) 352-8431. You may also file a consumer complaint online at: https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer .The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Alyse Meislik.