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Attorney General Cuccinelli announces settlement and permanent injunction against third mortgage loan modification company
- Virginia Beach-based Real Estate Resolutions to provide refunds to affected consumers -
RICHMOND (August 25, 2011) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced today that he has reached a settlement with Real Estate Resolutions, LLC (RER) a mortgage loan modification company headquartered in Virginia Beach, for allegedly charging illegal advance fees before performing "foreclosure rescue" services for its customers. The settlement will prohibit RER from collecting advance fees and will provide refunds to affected customers.
The attorney general previously filed suit against RER on July 19, 2010. In his complaint, the attorney general alleged that RER violated the Virginia Foreclosure Rescue law by charging advance fees of up to $995 in connection with services to avoid or prevent foreclosure. Section 59.1-200.1 of the foreclosure rescue law prohibits a supplier of foreclosure avoidance or prevention services from "charging or receiving a fee prior to the full and complete performance of the services it has agreed to perform, if the transaction does not involve the sale or transfer of residential real property."
Cuccinelli also alleged that RER violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA) by failing to follow through on promises to assist consumers in obtaining modifications of their mortgage loans. The VCPA generally prohibits suppliers from using any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation in connection with a consumer transaction.
The settlement includes the following key terms:
- The commonwealth is granted a permanent injunction prohibiting RER from violating the VCPA and the Virginia Foreclosure Rescue Law by, among other things, collecting advance fees in connection with services to avoid or prevent foreclosure.
- RER agrees to provide refunds totaling $1,560.01 to five consumers, reimbursing the unearned portions of advance fees paid to the company.
- RER agrees to pay the commonwealth $2,500 as a civil penalty.
- RER agrees to compensate the commonwealth $2,500 for attorneys' fees.
"This is the third settlement we have reached with a mortgage loan modification company that allegedly charged illegal advance fees," Cuccinelli said.
Cuccinelli previously settled with American Neighborhood Housing Foundation and Nationwide Loan Modification Bureau, LLC, two mortgage modification companies from the Tidewater region, for allegedly charging illegal advance fees in connection with services to avoid or prevent foreclosure.
Consumers who have questions about the settlement may contact RER directly at (757) 465-1955. Under the settlement, RER is required to accept collect calls from consumers residing outside the local calling area.
The settlement, which is in the form of a consent judgment, was submitted for approval to the Virginia Beach Circuit Court on August 23.
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