American Team Mortgage, Inc., dba American Mortgage Relief, and Steve Hufstedler, are banned from foreclosure counseling, credit/debt counseling, loan modification or mortgage origination in Oregon. Under the formal agreement, 28 homeowners will receive $67,000 in restitution. Oregon will receive an additional $65,000 for its consumer protection efforts.
The restitution is aimed at reimbursing more than two dozen Oregon homeowners who were promised loan modifications that were never delivered.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) conducted a joint investigation into allegations that the companies took illegal upfront fees to provide loan modifications. The investigation determined that 28 Oregon homeowners received neither the loan modification they paid for nor a refund.
Consumers can check to see if a company is licensed to make loan modifications by calling DCBS at 1-866-814-9710 or by visiting www.dfcs.oregon.gov. Help is also available from local foreclosure counselors, 1-800-SAFENET, and the national foreclosure help hotline, 1-888-995-HOPE.
Attorney General John Kroger announced the agreement. Mortgage fraud is one of Attorney General Kroger’s top priorities.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Greg Smith, former AAG Harry Wilson and Patrick A. Fitzgerald from DCBS handled the case.
Attorney General Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
“Distressed homeowners need help, not empty promises,” said Attorney General Kroger. “I want to thank DCBS for its work on this case.”
“We are pleased to be able to provide restitution to consumers harmed by this company,” said David Tatman, administrator of the DCBS Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. “Unfortunately, there are more entities out there that prey on Oregonians struggling to keep their homes. We urge homeowners to be cautious and make sure a company is licensed by checking with our agency’s website or calling us.”