An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission is mailing 1,455 refund checks to consumers defrauded by a mortgage loan modification and foreclosure rescue scam. The FTC alleged, and the court found, that operators of the scam falsely told consumers they would prevent their homes from being foreclosed and negotiate lower mortgage interest rates, monthly payments, and principal balances. The court also found that homeowners got few, if any, loan modifications, and many people lost their homes to foreclosure after paying up to $5,500.
At the request of the FTC, in April 2010, a federal court issued an $11.4 million contempt order against the defendants, Bryan D’Antonio, The Rodis Law Group, Inc., America’s Law Group, and The Financial Group, Inc., for operating the scam, which violated a 2001 order that banned D’Antonio from telemarketing and misleading consumers about goods or services. The FTC obtained the 2001 order against D’Antonio and his former company, Data Medical Capital, Inc., for operating a work-at-home medical billing opportunity scheme.
Consumers who receive the checks should cash them, and they will have 60 days to do so before the checks become void. Those who submitted a valid claim form will receive about 24 percent of their total claim loss. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Consumers with questions should call the administrator at 1-888-398-8205 or visit www.ftc.gov/refunds.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.