Anonymous businessmen save Granville couple from foreclosure
Posted April 25, 2014
Oxford, N.C. — Ten anonymous businessmen have committed to pay $40,000 to help save a Granville County husband and wife from losing their house to foreclosure.
The men reached out to BB&T to negotiate a deal to bring the mortgage up to date after seeing a WRAL Investigates story on the couple last month.
Ronald and Brenda Williams say they are ecstatic and relieved that the men helped save their home. With the newly negotiated deal, their mortgage payments will be current, and their future monthly payments will be less expensive.
The couple fell behind on its mortgage after Ronald Williams lost his job in 2009. After attempts to refinance failed, the couple was enticed by a television commercial for The Mortgage Law Group and paid the firm $5,000 to help prevent BB&T from foreclosing on them.
"The Mortgage Law Group gave them six months of stories about, 'Don't worry about your mortgage. We got you covered. We got your back. Don't make your payments, just pay us,'" said Ann Saccoccio of the DuRant Law Firm, who worked to help the Williamses keep their home. "They were able to rob this couple of their home and their trust."
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office ordered The Mortgage Law Group to stop doing business in North Carolina in October 2011 – seven months before the Williamses signed up with the firm. North Carolina is now part of a multi-state investigation into the company, which had offices in Chicago and Florida.
A 2005 state law made it illegal to charge an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance.
The law firm behind The Mortgage Law Group was connected to a debt relief firm called Legal Helpers. One local attorney took Legal Helpers to court and reached settlements on behalf of clients who, like the Williamses, paid money but got no help.
The Attorney General's Office also is investigating Legal Helpers and another company possibly linked to The Mortgage Law Group, Consumer First Legal Group.