On January 12, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it filed administrative charges against three California home loan modification assistance companies and their employees, alleging that they targeted Hispanic homeowners by charging thousands of dollars for services that were never provided or were ineffective. HUD’s charge of discrimination, filed on January 7, alleged that the companies violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a)-(b), 3605, 3617, discriminating against consumers on the basis of their national origin by falsely marketing relief service as capable of reducing a borrower’s principal and monthly payments, and by charging borrowers for useless “forensic home loan audit” services. HUD alleged that the companies used Spanish-language solicitation letters, advertisements, power point presentations, and other marketing materials designed to divert Hispanic consumers from obtaining legitimate loan assistance.
Blog Enforcement Watch January 13, 2016