Arizona Attorney General Horne warns of mortgage scam

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says homeowners need to be aware of a mortgage scam being mailed out to many Valley homes.

According to Horne, a New York company called Fresh Start has been sending out a mailing that appears to be an official legal or government document.

The letter, which doesn’t include Fresh Start’s name or a return address, tells homeowners that they may be eligible to join a national lawsuit or make a potential legal claim against a mortgage lender.

Fresh Start asks for $2,700 to perform “research” and another $2,500 to retain a lawyer. These up-front fees are a violation of federal regulations and Arizona consumer fraud laws.

“The irony in this case is the consumer who brought this to the attention of my office has not been victimized in the mortgage crisis, but Fresh Start indicated he may be eligible for relief anyway and should pay the up-front fee for ‘research,’” said Horne. “Consumers need to be wary of this and other similar ploys.”