CHICAGO – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against a mortgage rescue operation in Cicero, alleging Carrey Services Inc., and its president, Reynaldo Rojas,charged clients about $20,000 without providing any help to people in danger of losing their homes.
"Financially strapped homeowners are the most vulnerable to mortgage 'rescue' schemes," Madigan said in a press release. "In most cases, the only thing these so-called businesses accomplish is taking money from already struggling homeowners."
Eileen Boyce, Press Secretary for the Office of the Attorney General, told the Cook County Record that Madigan’s office has alleged six violations of the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act and twelve violations of the Consumer Fraud Act against the defendants in the case.
According to the lawsuit, filed on Dec. 1, “Defendants have engaged in a series of unlawful acts, including – promising to modify consumers’ loans and failing to do so, then failing to refund consumers; failing to provide consumers with a contract; charging upfront and exorbitant fees; and providing loan modification services, yet failing to obtain a mortgage license as required by the Residential Mortgage Licensee Act.”
Specifically, Madigan alleged Rojas targeted the Latino community, making his primarily Spanish-speaking clients sign documents printed in English.
Madigan also alleged Rojas charged upfront fees in amounts ranging from $500 to $3,000 prior to the completion to any loan modification services, which the suit claimed to be “higher than more than 50% of the homeowners’ existing monthly principal and interest mortgage payments."
Additionally, Madigan alleged Carrey Services failed to “do any work." Rojas also refused to provide refunds to his clients, and failed to respond to mediation letters from the Attorney General’s office.
The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, seeks to shut down the businesses and obtain restitution for consumers, said Madigan's office.
“We won’t have information on penalties until litigation proceeds. It is up to the judge to determine (a) whether the violations actually occurred and (b) how much the defendants should pay in restitution and civil penalties,” said Boyce.
This is the 57th suit against mortgage related violations filed by the Attorney General over the illegal collection of upfront fees. Madigan has created a Homeowner Helpline, (866) 544-7151, to provide mortgage guidance. Madigan also posted a Mortgage Rescue Fraud Brochure and Illinois Mortgage Lending Guide available on the Attorney General’s website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Abundis is handling the case.