Monday, December 23, 2013

MFY Files Suit against Mortgage Scammer


MFY Files Suit against Mortgage Scammer

On November 18, 2013, MFY filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Elva Brardo, a 60-year-old Queens County homeowner who lost thousands of dollars as part of a foreclosure rescue scam perpetrated by American Hope Group, Inc., The Donado Law Firm A Professional Corporation, and multiple individual defendants.  After charging Ms. Brardo an illegal, upfront fee, defendants falsely promised that an alleged “Securitization Mortgage Audit” would identify errors in her mortgage loan documents and this so-called erroneous information would be used to compel her lender to provide her with a more affordable monthly mortgage payment.  In addition to a loan modification, Ms. Brardo was promised legal representation to prevent foreclosure. 

 Even though Ms. Brardo signed a purported retainer agreement with The Donado Law Firm at American Hope’s office and authorized American Hope Group to automatically debit nearly $700 per month from her checking account in additional fees, defendants never obtained a more affordable mortgage payment for Ms. Brardo and never provided her with the promised legal representation.  In fact, Ms. Brardo never met nor spoke to any attorney.  The complaint asserts claims for violation of New York’s “distressed property consultant” law, Real Property Law § 265-b, which among other things makes it illegal to charge up-front fees for loan modification services; violation of New York’s Deceptive Practices Act, General Business Law § 349; and breach of contract. The lawsuit seeks to recover the illegal upfront fees paid to the defendants and also seeks to enjoin defendants from engaging in the deceptive acts and practices alleged.

Brardo v. American Hope Group, Inc., et al, Index No. 21154/2013, Supreme Court, Queens County


Monday, December 16, 2013

Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Expand Mortgage Relief for Underwater Homeowners Through Principal Reduction

Governor Cuomo proposed to expand the mortgage relief options available to struggling ‘underwater’ homeowners, who owe more than the current market value of their homes. Using “Shared Appreciation” mortgage modifications banks and mortgage servicers reduce the amount of principal outstanding on a borrower’s mortgage in exchange for a share of the future increase in the value of the home.