Legal Issues
FTC Sends Over $1 Million in Refunds to Consumers Harmed by Mortgage Relief Scheme That Posed as Government Assistance Program
Mar 6, 2013 - 4:42:38 PM

( - The Federal Trade Commission mailed 17,213 refund checks to consumers who were deceived by an operation that charged an up-front fee for bogus mortgage relief services and posed as a government mortgage assistance program. Under a settlement entered by the court in 2011 as part of the FTC's continuing crackdown on scams that target homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, the Residential Relief Foundation defendants were banned from selling debt relief services.

More than $1 million is being returned to consumers, each of whom will receive $62.50. Consumers who receive the checks from the FTC's refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, BMC Group, at 1-8662246718, or visit for more general information.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Related Items:

Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Residential Relief Foundation, Inc., Silver Lining Services, LLC, Mitigation America, LLC, James W. Holderness, Michael Valenti, Bryan J. Melanson, Jillian N. Melanson, and Dennis Strzegowski, Defendants
(United States District Court for the District of Maryland)
FTC File No. 1023234

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