FTC settles with mortgage relief scammers for $2.2 million
The Federal Trade Commission settled with two companies and three individuals Monday to provide $2.2 million in refunds to homeowners allegedly duped into mortgage relief scams. The settlement was filed with U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. At the end of 2009, the FTC alleged Kirkland Young and its manager, David Botton, promised delinquent homeowners a modification by falsely posing as either the lender, servicer or an affiliate. The FTC added Botton's sister, April Botton Krawiecki, his father, Samy Botton, and a related company, Attorney Aid, as defendants in the case. Under terms of the settlement, the defendants are banned from selling mortgage relief services and forced to surrender all of their assets, including condos, cars and a boat that total $2.2 million in value. In November, the FTC issued a new rule, banning companies from accepting fees for a modification before the borrower's lender or mortgage servicer approves the workout. Because the claims in this recent case predated the rule, the FTC did not allege any violations of it. The settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt from the defendants. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.