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Consumer Updates

FTC shuts the door on deceptive mortgage relief company

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Better Business Bureau
November 4, 2011 | 2,246 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The Federal Trade Commission has resolved an action against Residential Relief Foundation, a company targeting homeowners struggling to keep their homes.

According to consumer complaints filed with Better Business Bureau, Residential Relief Foundation used clever marketing to trick consumers into believing the company was a government agency and part of a program the Obama Administration had put into effect. The company claimed it could help struggling consumers with late fees, interest rates and reduce mortgage payments.

Between March 2010 and September 2011, 156 homeowners from 33 states, including 15 from Texas, filed complaints with BBB against Residential Relief Foundation. The complaints revealed an alarming pattern of false and broken promises, and alleged losses between $250 and $1,595. Single parents, seniors and families from across the country, were left deeper in debt or even homeless.

In a complaint to BBB, one troubled homeowner wrote, "I am now behind on my mortgage payment due to their instructions. I do not know what to do ... I will never trust a company like that again ever. It has made an awful situation even worse.”

According to court documents filed by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, Residential Relief Foundation must refrain from deceptive practices and assessment of upfront fees. The FTC also accused the company of violating its own privacy policies, disposing of customer documents -- including detailed personnel information -- in unlocked dumpsters.

The resulting court settlement imposed more than $11 million in judgments and barred the defendants from working in the mortgage relief and debt settlement industries.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.
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