FC Consultants Must Register In California

osure consultants in California have been ordered by the state's attorney general to register with his office and post a $100,000 bond by July 1. California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. ordered the directive in an attempt to separate legitimate and illegitimate foreclosure avoidance firms. Consultants who fail to register and post the bond will be in violation of state law, subject to criminal penalties of up to a year in jail and fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per violation. Brown says the state is "awash in con artists" who target troubled borrowers. The registry will bring "long-overdue transparency to this shadowy world," he adds. Brown says his office has seen a significant increase in the number of complaints from homeowners regarding foreclosure consultants. Foreclosure consultants operating in the state will need to submit the following information by July 1: name, address and telephone number; all names, addresses, telephone numbers, Web sites and e-mail addresses used or proposed to be used in connection with their business; copies of all advertising; copies of each different contract the consultant will use with consumers; and a copy of its $100,000 bond. Those who provide proper information will receive a Certificate of Registration. Brown's office, however, may refuse to issue, or revoke, a Certificate of Registration if the foreclosure consultant has made any misstatement in its registration form, has been convicted of fraud or misrepresentation, or has been convicted of a violation of the state's foreclosure consultant laws, California's false advertising, unfair or deceptive practices laws or other laws dealing with mortgages. If the company violates the law, a court may order restitution to victims out of proceeds from the $100,000 bond. The registry was established through legislation sponsored by Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass, A.B.180, which was signed into law last year. A copy of the registration forms may be found at [link=http://ag.ca.gov/register.php]attorney general's [u]Web site[/u][/link] under the ‘Foreclosure Consultant Registry.’ SOURCE: Office of Calif. Attorney General Edmun


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