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Massachusetts Halts False Foreclosure "Rescue" Activity Firm claimed to be "non-profit"
11th of Aug, 2011 by dmcnulty
Massachusetts Halts False Foreclosure "Rescue" Activity
Firm claimed to be "non-profit"

June 22, 2009

One by one, the state of Massachusetts is targeting firms that claim they can

"rescue" distressed homeowners from impending foreclosure. The Massachusetts Attorney

Generals office has obtained a preliminary injunction against defendants H.O.P.E.

Alliance, Inc., (H.O.P.E. Alliance), Law & Associates, LLC and Thomas E. Law, II.

The preliminary injunction prohibits the defendants from publishing advertisements

concerning foreclosure-related services, contacting Massachusetts consumers regarding

foreclosures or mortgages, and taking and/or soliciting advance fees from consumers.

The preliminary injunction follows a temporary restraining order granted against the

defendants in early June.

In a complaint centers on the all-too-common practice of soliciting unlawful advance

fees for foreclosure-related services, and unnecessarily delayed negotiations

regarding loan modifications. The two together, says Massachusetts Attorney General

Martha Coakley, usually pushes homeowners further into debt.

The complaint also alleges that H.O.P.E. Alliance, with the help of co-defendants Law

& Associates, LLC, and Thomas E. Law, II, solicited homeowners facing foreclosure by

sending letters that directed them to a toll-free number and to the website

The website states that it is an alliance of nonprofit organizations and housing

counselors that can assist homeowners in obtaining a loan modification or stopping

foreclosure. The website also states that it is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit


"H.O.P.E. Alliance is not registered with the IRS or the Attorney General's Office as

a non-profit," Coakley said. The Attorney General's complaint also asserts that in

its letter to homeowners, H.O.P.E. Alliance deceptively used a similar name to the

government-sponsored non-profit organization, HOPE NOW Alliance.

During telephone calls with consumers, defendants apparently attempted to skirt the

law by asking for a "donation" instead of a fee, but Coakley says the request is

still an unlawful fee. Defendants also allegedly promised to obtain loan

modifications for consumers, and then after months of delay either failed to provide

any services or only provided inadequate assistance to homeowners.

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