On August 28, 2015, the Maryland Attorney General announced that it reached a settlement with an Ohio-based mortgage field-services company to resolve allegations that the company wrongfully locked Maryland residents out of their homes and took or damaged personal property. The company contracts with lenders and mortgage servicers to provide services related to inspecting, maintaining, and repairing homes in default or in foreclosure. According to the announcement, the company “failed to properly screen, train and supervise its network of vendors who perform inspection and preservation work in Maryland” resulting in “hundreds of complaints” by Maryland residents about “improper conduct at their homes.” Under the terms of the agreement, the company pledged to implement background checks for employees and vendor agents, ensure that notice is provided pursuant to Maryland law, assure vendors that they will not be penalized for not knowing whether a property is occupied, require clear notice to occupants, employ appropriate supervisors, and maintain records of complaints. The company also agreed to pay $167,000 in restitution to Marylanders harmed by the alleged actions. These funds will be distributed through a claims process.
Blog Enforcement Watch September 01, 2015