Fri, Jun 5, 2015
Washington, District Of Columbia
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced a final judgment by a federal court on a complaint filed in 2014 by the Bureau and the Florida Attorney General against the Hoffman Law Group, its three operators, and four corporate affiliates accused of using deceptive marketing practices and scamming distressed homeowners into paying illegal advance fees. The scam tricked consumers into paying millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees to join frivolous lawsuits that the companies falsely claimed would pressure banks to modify their loans or provide foreclosure relief. The Hoffman Law Group was a law firm set up to give the appearance that consumers in financial distress needing to modify their mortgage loans or save their homes from foreclosure would get specialized help from attorneys. The court found the corporate defendants liable for $11,730,579 -- the full amount of illegal fees paid by consumers -- and ordered them to pay a $10 million civil penalty to the CFPB, in addition to a $6 million civil penalty to the State of Florida.