Rockefeller Launches Investigation of Foreclosure Rescue Companies

Committee seeks information about business practices of companies receiving high volume of consumer complaints

January 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today issued letters to request information from 7 companies that offer consumers mortgage modification negotiation services to avoid foreclosure – and that have recently been the subject of a substantial number of consumer complaints.

“As millions of troubled mortgages remain outstanding and many homeowners continue to struggle to meet monthly mortgage obligations, it is important to understand the nature and extent of foreclosure rescue company practices that may be harmful to consumers during a financially vulnerable time in their lives,” Rockefeller wrote. The Chairman pointed out that despite ongoing vigorous efforts by enforcement agencies in this area, consumer complaints remain high regarding false and deceptive practices by foreclosure rescue companies, and recent reports indicate that companies are engaging in increasingly complex schemes to elude enforcement actions. 

The investigation aims to help the Committee and the public understand the practices of foreclosure rescue companies in targeting and interacting with struggling homeowners. Questions posed to the companies address issues including the extent to which data brokers or other third parties serve as a resource for identifying potential customers. As highlighted in the Committee’s December 18, 2013, hearing on data brokers, Rockefeller’s investigation of data broker industry practices found that a number of large data brokers sell lists of consumers identified by their level of financial vulnerability. 

Rockefeller also wrote today to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) in light of the leadership role that the state Attorneys General community has played in addressing practices of foreclosure rescue companies that are harmful to consumers. Rockefeller would like to “find ways we can partner to stop foreclosure relief scams”, and requested any input that state AGs may be able to provide the Committee regarding consumer complaint data, identification of particularly troubling businesses, and other concerning trends in this area.

Rockefeller sent letters to the following companies:

  • Siringoringo Law
  • Home Remedy Center
  • Danielson Law Group
  • Estate Law Group
  • Rescue Firm
  • The Mortgage Law Group
  • McCann Law Group

A copy of the letter to mortgage modification companies is available here.

A copy of the letter to NAAG is available here.