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Money Back for Consumers Harmed by Mortgage Scam

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Money Back for Consumers Harmed by Mortgage Scam
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FTC Returns $33,000 to Consumers Harmed by Mortgage Relief Services Scam

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 474 checks totaling more than $33,000 to consumers who lost money to a scheme that charged homeowners an up-front fee for mortgage relief services they promised but never provided.

In September 2015, a federal court banned Wealth Educators and Veronica Sesma from the debt collection business.

The settlement resolves allegations that Wealth Educators and Veronica Sesma falsely promised they could lower consumers’ mortgage payment or interest rate, or obtain loan modification or restructuring, and illegally collected fees before homeowners got a written offer from their lender or servicer that they deemed acceptable. A court had ordered a halt to the alleged violations and frozen the corporate defendant’s assets pending litigation.

The stipulated court order also prohibits the defendants from making misrepresentations about any products or services, and financial products and services in particular, and from selling or otherwise benefitting from customers’ personal information.

The order imposes a $885,677 judgment that represents the total amount of fees taken by the scheme. It will be partially suspended upon surrender of funds in the frozen corporate bank accounts. The full judgment will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

Affected consumers will receive checks in the average amount of $69.99 and should deposit or cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or to provide information before refund checks can be cashed.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

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