(Phoenix, Ariz. - Dec. 13, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that he has obtained a $581,533 default judgment in Maricopa County Superior Court against a loan modification company, Asset Creation, LLC, and its owner, Marvin Williamson. The judgment follows a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General earlier this year alleging that the company engaged in deceptive business practices.
According to the lawsuit, Phoenix-based Asset Creation advertised its loan modification services extensively throughout the Phoenix area, primarily in Spanish language media and violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by making numerous misrepresentations regarding specific results that it could obtain for consumers, regardless of their situation.
Over the past two years, more than 2,500 consumers contracted with Asset Creation for loan modification services. The State also alleged that Asset Creation falsely stated that it had a money-back guarantee, when in fact any refunds were within the sole discretion of Asset Creation and rarely given. Many consumers who paid Asset Creation fees ranging from $1,680 to $3,430 and who later ended up losing their homes to foreclosure were refused refunds.
The State also alleged that Asset Creation misrepresented that it had performed loan modification services since 2003 when, in fact, it had only done so since 2008. The judgment ordered Asset Creation and Marvin Williamson to pay consumer restitution in the amount of $352,731, civil penalties of $208,000, and the State's costs and fees of $20,802.
The court order also prohibited Asset Creation and Marvin Williamson from engaging in any activities related to obtaining or modifying mortgage loans in Arizona.
Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe represented the State in the case.
The Attorney General recommends that homeowners who are in or facing foreclosure seek assistance promptly from their mortgage lender or servicer or a government-approved housing counselor. Federal, state and local governments offer numerous free resources for distressed homeowners, including the Arizona Foreclosure Help-Line at 1.877.448.1211. For a list of HUD-approved housing counselors, please refer to HUD’s website at http://www.hud.gov.
Additional tips and resources, including the Foreclosure Information Workbook created by the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, are available on the Attorney General’s web site, www.azag.gov. This workbook not only describes the tactics used by deceptive firms but also provides helpful examples of common letters, forms and filings for attempting to modify a loan or otherwise avoid foreclosure.
For more information, contact Janey Pearl at (602) 542-8019.