HUD charges California mortgage modification service with discrimination
A California company that has announced assistance to distressed mortgage borrowers engaging in discriminatory and illegal practices, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a press release on Friday.
Employees and owners of The House Lawyer in Redwood City, Calif., Allegedly violated the law by falsely charging Hispanic borrowers for loan modification services and encouraging clients not to pay off their mortgages, causing them to exposes to a risk of foreclosure.
The complaint shows that HUD officials give equal importance to both fair loan and fair service as the pandemic subsides and forbearance ends.
“Today’s action reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that no family is faced with fraudulent mortgage products that threaten the ability to stay at home due to nationality,” said Jeanine Worden, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunities, in a press release.
The attorney for the house is accused in the HUD complaint of violating state law and fair housing law in his interactions with Hispanic borrowers whom he contacted through advertisements on a station Spanish language radio station.
“THL agents allegedly provided inaccurate information about the requirements, procedures and standards for reviewing loan modification applications, and falsely stated that as long as homeowners withhold their mortgage payments and remain in default, their banks would be forced to modify their loan, ”HUD said in its press release.
HUD plans to take its complaint to a U.S. administrative judge, unless the parties concerned choose to have it heard in federal court instead. They can apply for an injunction, payment of attorney fees and civil penalties.