Oregon warns residents about 'fraudulent' loan modifications
State alerts residents to avoid Liberty One Mortgage
Oregon residents should avoid doing any kind of business with Liberty One Mortgage because the company is unlicensed, unregistered, and is engaging in mortgage fraud, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said earlier this week.
According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation, Liberty One Mortgage is a California-based company that was offering loan modification services to Oregon residents.
But instead of actually providing the loan modification services, the company stole several Oregonians’ money, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said.
After first receiving reports of Liberty One’s alleged fraudulent practices in 2014, Oregon began investigating Liberty One in coordination with the California Bureau of Real Estate.
According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, the California bureau discovered that the Studio City, California address Liberty One provided on documentation to the Oregon homeowners was actually the location of an Indian food restaurant.
Restaurant employees said they had no knowledge of Liberty One.
Liberty One first crossed the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ radar in 2014, when several Oregon homeowners came forward and said that they worked with Justin Williams of Liberty, and sent the company $1,500 for loan modification services.
After the homeowners sent the money, they had a difficult time reaching the company.
Eventually, Liberty stopped all communication with the homeowners, who never received the loan modification.
On Aug. 20, 2014, the division issued a final order by default against the Liberty One for unlicensed activity and assessed a civil penalty of $5,000.
Later, the division received a second complaint involving Liberty in 2015. In that case, the Oregon homeowners said that they received a solicitation phone call from Liberty in December 2014 and worked with Williams to get a loan modification.
After the couple sent more than $8,000 to Liberty, the company stopped all communications.
The homeowners contacted the holders of their first and second mortgages, who said Liberty or Williams never contacted them.
Liberty One Mortgage did not respond to repeated inquiries from Oregon’s Division of Financial Regulation.
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued two orders this week requiring Liberty One Mortgage to stop all unlawful activity in Oregon and assessed $30,000 in civil penalties against the company, and urged all residents to avoid working with the company.
“We urge people to not use Liberty One Mortgage for a loan modification because the company will take your money and do nothing for you,” said Laura Cali, division administrator. “Loan modification companies must be licensed to offer those services in Oregon. Check with the Division of Financial Regulation first before choosing a company from which to get loan modification help.”