A cease and desist on loan-modification 'help'
Here's what the federal agency says about "Operation Loan Lies":
The FTC charged that the defendants falsely claimed that they would either obtain a mortgage loan modification or stop foreclosure, or both, and that some of the defendants falsely represented that they would give consumers refunds if they failed to do so. After charging consumers the equivalent of one month’s mortgage payment or more in advance, these companies often did little or nothing to help homeowners renegotiate their mortgages or stop foreclosure. After failing to provide the promised services, the defendants that promised refunds did not honor those promises.
Here's the full list (link opens a PDF), which includes the firms and players that Maryland went after. Several are run by attorneys.
The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation offers suggestions for avoiding foreclosure-help scams, including this one: "Beware of any person or organization asking you to pay up-front fees in exchange for providing mortgage counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan."
Remember, HUD-approved nonprofits have counselors who help borrowers navigate their lenders' loan-modification process, and they do foreclosure-prevention work free of charge. Here's the list of Maryland housing counseling groups.