Cox Files criminal charges against 19 for ''Foreclosure Rescue'' Scams

LANSING, MI--Attorney General Mike Cox today announced the filing of 19 criminal complaints and a total of 69 charges against illegal advanced fee ''foreclosure rescue'' operations accused of defrauding Michigan families of thousands of dollars.

Nine Michigan mortgage companies are accused of illegally charging homeowners facing foreclosure upfront fees for mortgage modification assistance. The defendants claimed they would help homeowners by working with their lenders in an attempt to modify the borrower's mortgage. After paying the upfront fee, borrowers found that the companies made no real attempt to secure a modification and were subsequently unable to get their money back. Many of the victims lost their homes to foreclosure.

''These companies took advantage of struggling Michigan families trying to hold onto the American dream,'' said Cox.

Several companies and individuals charged are accused of obtaining money through false statements to consumers. This charge is a five year felony. In addition several are accused of charging upfront fees before services were rendered, a violation of the Credit Services Protection Act, and with making misleading statements. Each of the charges carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 in addition to the requirement that the companies make full restitution to each of their victims. Charges announced today include:

* Isaac Modert, of DeWitt, from Lansing's LCN Mortgage

* Benjamin Walcott, of Grand Rapids, from Lansing's LCN Mortgage

* LCN Mortgage in Lansing

* Mobile Modification aka Notary Modification

* Tonya Raisbeck, of Fennville, from Fennville's Mobile Modification (aka Notary Modification)

* The Modification Company aka The Modification Center in Livonia

* Guy Humeniuk, of Livonia, from Livonia's The Modification Company aka The Modification Center

* Global Loan Modification in Commerce Twp., MI

* Steven Barry Ruza (aka Steven Barry), of West Bloomfield, from Commerce Township's

* Global Loan Modification

* Flagstone Partners Inc. in Southfield

* Kevin Nafso, of West Bloomfield, from Southfield's Flagstone Partners

* Michelle Garbuschewki (aka Michelle Justice), of Howell, from Howell's Elite Mortgage Relief -

* Lisa Joboulian, of Northville, from Howell's Elite Mortgage Relief

* Legal Researchers, in Southfield

* Federal Modification, in Westland

Cox urges any consumers who paid fees to the companies and individuals charged by his office, or any other mortgage modification company, for services that were not provided, to file a consumer complaint online with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at or contact them at (877) 765-8388 .

Published: Thu, Aug 5, 2010