The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission in a case against the operators of a scheme that deceived financially distressed homeowners by falsely promising to make their mortgages more affordable. The defendants also charged consumers illegal advance fees and unlawfully told consumers not to pay their mortgages to or communicate with their lenders.
Every year the FTC brings hundreds of cases against individuals and companies for violating consumer protection and competition laws that the agency enforces. These cases can involve fraud, scams, identity theft, false advertising, privacy violations, anti-competitive behavior and more. The Legal Library has detailed information about cases we have brought in federal court or through our internal administrative process, called an adjudicative proceeding.
In September 2016, the FTC announced a court order banning the operators of an alleged mortgage relief scam that preyed upon distressed homeowners from the debt relief business. The final orders banned the defendants from selling secured or unsecured debt relief products or services, and prohibited them from misrepresenting any financial or other products or services. The orders imposed a judgment of more than $1.7 million. The FTC’s July 2014 complaint alleged the defendants claimed they could lower consumers’ mortgage payments and interest rates or prevent foreclosure, pretended to be affiliated with a government agency or consumers’ lenders or servicers, and illegally charged advance fees for these services. The FTC announced additional settlements in the case through March 2020.
In May 2021, the FTC sent payments totaling more than $147,000 in full refunds to people affected by the student loan debt relief scam.