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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has obtained a default judgment against 21st Century Legal Services, Inc. (“21st Century”) for violations of Wisconsin law while marketing purported loan modification services. The California-based company was ordered to pay $299,662.92 and is enjoined from conducting business in further violation of the law.
According to the State’s complaint, 21st Century marketed purported loan modification services to distressed homeowners in Wisconsin under the guise that the company was affiliated with the federal government. The company initiated transactions by telephone but was not registered on the State’s no call registry. The company would then send “representatives” to meet with the homeowners and collect up-front fees. The representatives, in fact, were local notaries paid by the defendant. According to complaints filed by several notaries, 21st Century would instruct them to engage in illegal activity such as asking the homeowners to only complete a portion of the legal documents being signed or failing to leave the signed documents with the homeowners. 21st Century collected as much as $3500 in up-front fees from Wisconsin homeowners.
“The Wisconsin Department of Justice continues to work with local and federal law enforcement in prosecuting companies engaged in loan modification fraud,” said Attorney General Van Hollen. “It is illegal to charge up-front fees for loan modification and foreclosure services in the State of Wisconsin. Distressed homeowners should instead go directly to their lenders or contact a HUD- approved housing counselor who will work with the homeowner for free.”
The Judgment was entered by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson. Assistant Attorney General Nelle Rohlich represented the State.
Homeowners at risk of foreclosure or in need of mortgage counseling should find a HUD certified housing counseling agency at HUD's website or at (800) 569-4287. These counselors will work with homeowners at no charge.
A copy of the Summons and Complaint and judgment are available at: