Illinois Goes After Foreclosure Rescue Companies

State of Illinois sued a couple of these companies in state court for unlawful business practices which include not giving the homeowners, who are at high risk for foreclosure, any way to cancel their service contract for $1,250.00 nor were they giving the notices provision required by law.  In addition, the complaint states these companies had a history of calling these at-risk homeowners and demanding payment or threatening they would lose their homes.

Here are the companies named in the suit and also the websites:

American Financial Corp/National Foreclosure Counseling Service

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews.

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25 Responses to “Illinois Goes After Foreclosure Rescue Companies”

  1. sharon overlien Says:

    We are having problems with national foreclosure counseling services in minnesota. Is this a legitimate company or not? We have been trying to work with them since August and have paid them a large sum of money to work on negotiating a better mortgage.

  2. Randy Wilson Says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by legitimate but you might want to contact the gentleman below if you aren’t happy with NFCS’s service and let him know about the Illinois action initiated by their Attorney General.

    Joell E. Schigur, Director
    Public Integrity Bureau

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  5. Julia Strange Says:

    I have personally dealt with this company. They did indeed successfully settle my case with my lender. I did have to pay $2500 to the lender as a down payment as part of the negotiation that they worked out for me. I believe this company to be a good company, also if I had a problem or a question they always answered it. My suggestion to you is to pick up the phone and call them. They were always readily available to me.. Good luck with your case.

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  7. Royce Says:

    I have dealt with this company as well and the results of my cse was quite different. The same promises were made, that they could help with our loan and that they had a 95% sucess rate. I was told that, all foreclousure proceedings would stop until there was an outcome to our case. Well, after talk to our mortgage company, they came back to us with a payment higher than what we were currently paying. When confronted with this fact, they offer us our money back and then reverse themselves later that evening. They badger our mortgage company and us for 4 hours on the phone and decided to charge us 70% of the money we had paid for keeping us on the phone for 4 hours or at least I think. I have ask for a bill or anything stating what we were paying for and have yet to receive anything from them. Since then, I’ve found out that I didn’t need them to modifiy my mortgage and that this is a scam. I currently have a mortgage $500 lower than I had then and was negotiated by me. Anyone want more info on this company can email me at By the way, this story was cut by more than half in order to keep it short.

  8. Foreclosure services Says:

    I must appreciate your work. from last couple of days i was searching for something interesting and this post is really nice. Thanks for this nice post. Tomas

  9. Daren Says:

    Good afternoon internet bloggers! My name is Daren, I am actually a supervisor at the company you are speaking about. I can tell you 100% that we are not a scam, I am a christian who goes to church every Sunday and who tithes 10% of my income to the Lord. Every case that we take on is different so they will all have different results. If Royce was able to negotiate a deal better than our mitigation department, well then congratulations. Most of the homeowners that we deal with do not have the ability to do this. Most are like Julia, who do not have time to spend countless hours on the phone with the lender to try and negotiate a better deal for themselves, and don’t know the lenders ratios for submitting their information or who to contact at the lender even if they were to try. We do. Also, we have found that the lenders aren’t exactly up front with their ability to reduce a homeowners interest rate or payment. So most people do end up with a much better deal having a professional third party mitigator doing their work for them. The clients who end up having the most problems who have gotten in their mind that they should be able to live in their home for free, or that the person who is responsible for losing their homes is the company they hired at the last second to try and pick up the pieces instead of themselves for quitting their jobs and not paying their mortgage for a year. Unfortunately we cannot wave a magic wand and make a homeowners mortgage payment simply go away as much as we’d like to. We get them the best situation possible based off of the clients scenario. It sounds as though Royce concluded his case prematurely, so I am not so sure that we would not have gotten the same or better results as he did if he’d only allowed us to conclude our work. We are being sued by a few states because we charge an upfront fee for our service, which is totally ridiculous to me. I could see them suing us if we were causing homes to be lost but we aren’t, the only thing they have on us after doing business for this long is we charge an upfront fee? Nothing about any homes being lost? I just simply don’t get it. If there was any way for us to perform our service and could collect guaranteed payment at the end we would, but we tried that before and we got stiffed, the homeowners we help don’t have a very good history of paying for things as agreed. So we have to charge an upfront fee. I assure you though as I live and breathe we are a legit company and are a group of good hardworking people.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Thanks Daren for your comments. I always welcome hearing both sides. Hopefully, the truth about your company and the plaintiff’s situation will come out during the court process.

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  11. Kim Says:

    My only dealings with this company prior to reading the supervisor’s post here was a letter telling me that it was, and I quote, “an urgent and last attempt to assist you with your mortgage delinquency”.

    I spent a few months unemployed in the new “economic crisis” and when I lost my income despite my efforts my mortgage did fall behind during that time. I called my lender, worked it out and now my payments are fine. (also got my job back when work picked back up) But because of my having that issue recently this notice worried me. It was very “official” with a statement that I am “hereby notified”. THAT was the language of the people who were looking to be of “help”.

    I had no idea who they were so I called to see what the letter was all about. (Though, I do concede I should have called my mortgage company first and just avoided them all together.) When I called it went like this…

    “NFCS” and I asked “who” since MY letter said “AFCC” though I did not tell her this. The lady said, “Oh I’m sorry AFCC”. Not at all suspicious. So when I told her I’d received a letter and asked what it was all about and who this company was she said, “Well first let me take some information from you to see what we can do for you…….” I stopped her and said, “But I need to know who you are before I tell you anything about myself.” I think this is a fair request since the letter did not in any way indicate who they were or who they might represent or how they even got my name, etc…. The lady responded with “Look, YOU called ME! I have a job to do. The information about your mortgage is public record so…” I told her, “Look, I’m not attempting to be rude with you. I’m trying to see who you are since YOUR company contacted ME.” She told me that most people that called in were angry so she just assumed it was me being rude. That if I was not someone who was delinquent I could just throw the letter away. No apology for HER rude behavior. So I hung up on her.

    I did not throw the letter away. I instead searched for others who might be trying to figure out who is sending scary “help” letters to them so I could add my “helpful” story to the pile. I am also going to look into contacting the FTC to inquire as to the “public information” story and at the very least report the nature of the letter and then the refusal to even tell me who they were or how they got my information.

    If you saw this letter you’d see why people are angry. It does not say, “We care. We’re loving a Christian folk that give a portion of our income to the Lord every week and we just want to help.” It says I am “hereby notified” and that “I may be able to qualify for government help” but that their “previous attempts to notify me had failed” and this was “their last attempt and was urgent”. This does not sound “helpful” it sounds like HURRY and call us because you need to before it’s too late!.

    A a representative coming on here to say he goes to Church means precious little when his next statements make sweeping generalizations about homeowners “quitting their jobs” or “not paying their mortgage” as though it was some purposeful tactic to rip off the banks. (Maybe he should read the news to see who is ripping off who here. It’s called “bail out” and it’s not funded by the “government” but by people who work and pay taxes. I bet that would include some home owners, too.) How the information that he goes to church is relevant to this topic is really just beyond me. If he wants the Lord to back him up maybe he should try selling this story to Him. I’ll be glad to fax my letter to Mr. Lord to help Darell make his case about how he and his company are “helping”. Of course I’ll need an upfront fee for this service.

    It does appear relevant, I’d think, that a supervisor from this company is on a public blog telling the world the private information he attained from Royce’s mortgage company. Some of which it appears he got after he was no longer in Royce’s employ.

    If someone can afford thousands of dollars in upfront fees they wouldn’t need a professional phone dialer in the first place. I’m going with SCAM.

    Good luck, Royce. I hope you find some real help.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      That letter does sound scary and that person had not right to be rude to you. I’m not sure that’s indication of how well the foreclosure service does its job but it might be indicative of a unpleaseant culture. Thanks Kim for sharing. Randy

  12. Jimmy Says:

    For what it’s worth, I received a letter from NFCS in the mail today. It has scam written all over it. All that the letter lists is NFCS, and it states verbatim “This is an urgent and last attempt to assist you with your mortgage delinquency.” Really? What mortgage delinquency are they speaking of? Why is there no real information listed about this company in their correspondence? And why does the FIRST letter I’ve ever received from them state that “prior attempts for notification of entitlements & eligibility have failed.” The letter encourages fast action and is meant to mislead the reader into thinking it is part of the government HOPE program. It offers a “core HOPE program” except the O in HOPE is replaced with a diamond symbol. There ARE programs to help you, such as which is the real government assistance site. And by the way, their services are free. And last but not least, scam companies such as this pay people 24/7 to scan the internet and post counter-points like “Darren” a few posts up. If you were truly honest “Darren” you would not have to qualify your post with statements like “I am a christian who goes to church every Sunday and who tithes 10% of my income to the Lord.” That’s just plain dumb. Do your homework people and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I may not be a good Christian, and I don’t give 10% to the church, but I’ll never sit here and back up predatory financing such as this. Beware. Thanks for your time all.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Thanks Jimmy. That letter sound really annoying and arrogant. I also appreciate your providing the link to the government assistance site. People need to know they have options.

  13. Former Employee Says:

    As a Former employee I ask alot of question when I was employed there, I never got a streight answer, what they stress is you can make lots of $$$$, it’s like shooting fish in a barral. you are expected to collect $15,000.00 in monthly fees no matter what, if you are not up to par you are let go, they hire a group of people to take applications so once you are fired they re-assign your application to people to collect the funds from the clients, They call it Re-Hash Leads. It’s commission Only teir base pay, meaning, 1-5 deals 20% 6-11 30% 12-16 35% and over 16 deals 40% which I have not seen. They have employees or Sales People tell the client the funds are deposited in an escrow account which is False, and the only objections is to pry money or funds from the client. The hope now # on the flyer is the same for everyone who gets one. Ray and Bob are the owners of the company. Nice guys but the only have themself best interest at heart. I would tell you if your doinig business with them Ask for the refund and call your lender, your lender will help you! Currently NFCS is changing their name to AFCC (American Foreclosesure Counseling Center) to get back into state the been kick out of IL, CO, MN, IN, TE, and NC this is to hide under the radar. Legitimate Companies don’t change their names, they change their practices in how they do business.

  14. Jason Hanlin Says:

    look i just got off the phone with afcc because they sent me a letter saying the same thing everybody else has written about, the first thing i said to them when i called was are you affiliated with my bank and he said well what bank do you have the mortgage with, that threw a red flag up for me because i had thought this letter was sent by my mortgage company because ive already been working with them, they reduced my interest helped with the two payments i was behind, like many others out their i was unemployed and going thru a tough time, my mortgage company was very helpful so i was concerned when i received this letter i thought everything was taken care of, and it is.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      It sounds like you they put you through a nasty scare. Good thing you didn’t fall for it Jason!

  15. Sandy Bezousek Says:

    My daughter is a single Mom her husband left four years ago and left her in heavy debt. Since then she has struggled to pay off bills and hold onto her home. She is behind 3 years in taxes and has not paid mortgage the last few months becuse of nfcs. She borrowed $1,500 from a family member to pay them. She has called several of the contacts she was given for the last two weeks and left messages no one has returned her calls. Today I decided to try and find out if this company was legit. I had asked her several times if she had checked out the company and she said she had but I’m now finding out she did not check very far. She is very proud and I try to stay out of her business but I’m afraid at this point she is worse off and out $1,500. We are from NE is their anyone here we can contact about this company. Not sure it will help my daughter but maybe it will help some other desparate people. I’m advising my daughter to call her bank tomorrow and find out where she stands or she may come home and find a lock on her door.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Thanks for sharing Sandy. You seem like a sensitive mom dealing with a tough situation. Best of luck, Randy

  16. Wendy Krause Says:

    Boy am I glad I’ve read this blog! I too received the “infamous” letter from National Foreclosure Counseling Service. It seemed urgent, but we weren’t behind at the time I received the letter. I held on to it, though, just in case. Well, my husband was recently laid off at the beginning of ’09 and now we are in arrears. I called the number and talked with a nice gentleman who went over our finances and agreed they could help us.

    Sounded ok, so far, so I agreed to let him email me their contract. The language in the contract is a bit odd and in some places too simplistic. That sent up red flags.

    Here’s a snippet of the lingo ” Important it is recommended that you contact your lender or mortgage servicer before signing this agreement. Your lender or mortgage servicer may be willing to negotiate a payment plan or a restructuring with you free of charge.” Free of chare implies there is a charge with them. My “counselor” discussed no fees up front with me, but instead indicated that my mortgage co. would be happy with one month’s payment, paid to NFCS, and they would waive the second month we’re behind.

    Here’s a couple other parts that seem odd to me – “That client is fully informed about its terms, conditions, and legal ramifications and is not in any way confused about any part of the working agreement and has signed it willingly and not under any duress.” AND “Client is confident that he/she/they is not being victimized by American Foreclosure Counseling Center or any of the documents involved with this transaction, in any way what-so-ever.” Did you catch the name change in there too?

    The most troubling part of their contract is that it clearly states “Our rate is earned at one hundred twenty-five dollars per hour until the completion of our services.” If we could pay someone that kind of rate, we wouldn’t need this help in the first place! We did not sign with them and contacted them about this rate. My “counselor” told me that this is a fee only payable if we break our contract during the mitigation process and that it would be prorated. Why doesn’t it say that in the contract then? He told me he would be willing to write an addendum to the contract to put our minds at ease. We were still wary, but told him we’d think about it.

    The most disturbing part of our dealings with NFCS and/or AFCC so far is that they absolutely had to have part of our money that day to get things started. Stupidly, I thought they were legit and followed his instructions to take part of my husband’s paycheck and buy a temporary credit card at Walmart. I didn’t even realize you could do that, but I did. I loaded the card with $400 and gave my counselor the digits off the card. This was all before we read the contract! The good news is, however, he did not charge our temporary card that day and I called the Walmart customer service number and got the card cancelled. They’re sending a replacement and our $400 is still intact. Whew!

    I’m going to my bank today to see where I get. The only reason we didn’t take that course of action in the first place is that they have not wanted to work with us in the past when were fell behind before. I think I have a better feeling about my actual bank now after reading all of this and some of the documents re: the various lawsuits against NFCS and AFCC!

    Thanks for listening!

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Thanks for sharing Wendy! It is really good to put meat on these transactions the complaints only discuss in general terms. Frankly, I think your approach seemed reasonable except maybe for giving NFCS the card digits. I’m glad you were able to cancel the card and incur no unnecessary payments.

      Perhaps before talking with your bank, you should look at nonprofit organizations and even your state or local governments for programs that help people in your position and get yourself educated about your options. That might help you ask the bank reps. the right questions or say the magic buzzwords that will give you options you didn’t know you had. Randy

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