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Court Bans Mortgage Relief Scammers from Debt Relief Business

The operators of an alleged mortgage relief scam that prayed upon distressed homeowners are banned from the mortgage loan modification and debt relief business under a court order obtained by the Federal Trade Commission.

The order stems from a case brought in July 2014 by the FTC against five defendants as part of a federal-state law enforcement effort called Operation Mis-Modification. According to the FTC, the defendants, operating under the fictitious names “2Apply” and “UW Solutions, “falsely 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 services, and illegally charged advance fees – an initial $495, plus monthly fees that averaged $399.

In granting the FTC’s request for summary judgment against Tuan Dinh Duong, the court found that Duong knew about the false claims and directed the illegal scheme, which violated the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule. The court also entered default judgment against four co-defendants.

Under the final orders, the defendants are banned from selling secured or unsecured debt relief products or services, and prohibited from making material misrepresentations about any financial or other products or services. The orders impose a judgment of more than $1.7 million,which represents the amount of money consumers lost.