Monday, July 15, 2013

Charlotte-based Lender Exchange shut down, Roy Cooper says

A Charlotte company that was sued last year by North Carolina’s attorney general over charging advance fees for loan-modification help has been shut down, the attorney general’s office said Monday.

It’s the latest company to be forced out of the foreclosure-assistance business by Roy Cooper’s office since a 2005 state law took effect.

On Monday, Cooper’s office said a consent judgment, signed July 5 by a Superior Court judge in Wake County, bans Lender Exchange and owners Kenneth Carl McCurd and Tanya Louisa Wilson from providing loan-modification, foreclosure-assistance or debt-relief services in North Carolina.

McCurd and Wilson have also been ordered to pay $4,000, which will be used to refund the company’s customers who complained to Cooper’s office. If the consent order is violated, McCurd and Wilson will have to pay $58,000, under the terms of the deal.

According to Cooper’s office, it has taken 10 Charlotte-area foreclosure-rescue companies to court since the 2005 enactment of the state’s debt-adjusting act, which bans upfront fees for foreclosure assistance or debt settlement services. A violation of that law is a criminal misdemeanor.

Cooper, who sued Lender Exchange in September, said the company, in addition to breaking the 2005 law, failed to provide its customers with "meaningful help." Also in September, Cooper sued another Charlotte-area company, Community Mortgage Assistance Program, and company official Koy Chiu. According to court records, that case is scheduled for mediation.

The North Carolina secretary of state lists 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd. as the address for Community Mortgage Assistance Program. Chiu could not be reached for comment.

Lender Exchange was based at 3325 Washburn Ave. According to the Better Business Bureau’s website, which puts the company in the category of "foreclosure rescue" and "advance-fee brokers, Lender Exchange had 20 employees.

An attorney for McCurd and Wilson did not immediately provide comment. Calls placed Monday to Lender Exchange went to a recording.

According to Cooper’s office, more than 1,200 consumers have reported foreclosure-assistance and loan-modification scams to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division during the past five years. The division received eight complaints about Lender Exchange, Cooper’s office said.

Last year, in announcing the lawsuit against Lender Exchange, Cooper’s office said the company would charge consumers a fee equal to one month’s mortgage payment. The company also falsely claimed that none of its clients lost their homes to foreclosure, and it created hassles for homeowners seeking refunds even though the company promised it would return customers’ money if they could not obtain a loan modification, according to Cooper’s office.

Cooper’s office said that since 2002 it has taken to court 17 companies running foreclosure scams in North Carolina.


Anonymous said...

4,000. Really. Meanwhile the banks have stolen millions of homes...and plan on stealing more