The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a $2.4m settlement with Home Assure over its allegedly misleading mortgage foreclosure rescue services. The case is part of the agency’s continued crackdown on schemes that prey on distressed borrowers. According to the FTC’s complaint, Home Assure typically charged borrowers up-front fees ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. The FTC claims the company’s representatives falsely claimed its special relationships with lenders would ensure access to favorable loan modifications. The FTC said it found the company refused to pay fee refunds when it could not help a borrower avoid foreclosure — a guarantee it had promised on its website. The company allegedly claimed the borrowers did not meet the terms of the contract for a refund, or that they had breached the contract by contacting their lenders directly or filing bankruptcy. The FTC’s settlement order imposes a $2.4m judgment on Home Assure and bans the company from selling mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services. It also permanently prohibits the company from “misrepresenting any good or service, disclosing or benefiting from customers’ personal information, and failing to dispose of customer information properly.” Write to Diana Golobay.

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