WRAL Investigates

Mortgage "aid" to cost Granville couple dream home

Posted March 12
Updated March 15

— The nightmare is taped to the front door of Ronald and Brenda Williams’ Granville County dream home - a foreclosure notice.

Trouble started in 2009 after Ronald Williams lost his job. Then they got behind on their mortgage. Notices and penalties mounted.

They tried to refinance, but couldn’t.

Then they saw a commercial from The Mortgage Law Group, a foreclosure protection company.

“I thought it was hope because the whole idea was to save our house,” he said.

The couple signed up, putting $1,200 down and paying $795 a month.

“You don't have to pay the mortgage. You don't even have to talk to them. We'll handle it on our behalf,” Ronald Williams remembered the company telling him and his wife.

WRAL Investigates found red flags even before The Mortgage Law Group came into existence.

The law firm behind the foreclosure protection company also ran a debt settlement business called Legal Helpers. That company was fined millions of dollars and given cease and desist orders in several states.

As Legal Helpers' legal troubles mounted, the group formed The Mortgage Law Group.

WRAL Investigates was unable to reach The Mortgage Law Group – a cleaning service comes up on their web page and they have no working phone number or e-mail.

The state Attorney General's Office has joined a multi-state investigation into the company, which had offices in Chicago and Florida.

More than 1,000 consumers reported foreclosure and loan modification scams to the Attorney General's Office within the past five years. A 2005 state law made it illegal to charge an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance.

The Williams’ paid the group $5,000 for help they never received.

Now they will officially lose their home on Friday.

“I’d like to see them stopped so other people won’t be harmed,” Ronald Williams said.

The experience has been anything but a dream for the couple.

“Our dream home is no longer there,” Brenda Williams said. “Foreclosure for us is a nightmare.”

If you’ve dealt with this company, or have any other tips, call 877-WRAL-TIP or e-mail investigates@wral.com.

33 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Boogalooboy Mar 13, 3:46 p.m.

    and on the other hand, WRAL showed an advertisement that was run on a TV station, don't know which one, but don't you think the TV stations have some responsiblity for putting scams like this on TV... I mean they are making a bundle on adv. don't they owe this to their viewers...

  • Gatsby Mar 13, 3:46 p.m.

    If you guys think mortgages are such a scam why dont you lend someone $200,00 of your own money... View More

    — Posted by glarg

    Face it... The current mortgage model has outlived its affordability with 200K+ prices & median American incomes (48K) where they are in 2014.
    Gen Y - Millennial are just saying "No Thanks" to overbearing debt and a home with no room to appreciate like Moms & Pops did 30 years ago. How can they appreciate when you purchase at the peak? So...Incomes have to go up dramatically, home price must fall OR mortgages must become affordable some other way. The majority of the buyers money is actually going to interest it's current structure. That's the only place I see housing can be saved...by cutting the interest payments.

  • luvstoQ Mar 13, 2:49 p.m.

    Why not 'work' with your mortgage company rather than 'giving' money to an 'unknown' to save your house.

    Some people just don't seem too bright, thinking they could 'save' by going through another company.

    If you don't understand, for goodness sake, ask advice from a 'trusted source' - friends, relatives, etc. Don't just blindly trust an 'unknown' that promises relief in an 'easier' way - ie less money.

  • br549znc Mar 13, 2:22 p.m.

    So sorry to hear this about this couple. Its getting so you don't know who to trust in this day and age.

    You don't trust anybody.

  • Just Once Mar 13, 1:32 p.m.

    Ok - So they couldn't pay their mortgage. Stuff happens.
    What worries me is the number of people out there doing nothing but ripping people off. There is no good intentions - it is a scam from day one.
    As a small business person it is like a game of dodge ball. Something new all the time. Scammers and thieves of all types and flavors. I field multiple cc issues a week....even though we do everything we can to detect it including losing sales because it is just to risky.
    It is time we find them and fix them - what ever that means for you... The hardship they cause people I think losing a hand or fingers is not out of the question.

  • glarg Mar 13, 1:31 p.m.

    If you guys think mortgages are such a scam why dont you lend someone $200,00 of your own money for 30 years at 3%.

  • 678devilish Mar 13, 12:57 p.m.

    So sorry to hear this about this couple. Its getting so you don't know who to trust in this day and age.

  • Gatsby Mar 13, 12:56 p.m.

    Gatsby has it right. The laws need changing, but probably never will. At least 50% of the... View More

    — Posted by common tater

    Now that is someone with little or no banking knowledge thinking they have the answers.

    — Posted by A person

    He has enough knowledge to see a system put in place around 1935 has long out lived it... View More

    — Posted by Gatsby

    More comments by someone who is clueless about finance but thinks they have all the answers. No,... View More

    — Posted by A person

    I didn't think you would be bright enough to understand...

  • sunshine1040 Mar 13, 12:27 p.m.

    Gee maybe if the put payment on mtg instead of this banckrupcy company they would still have home or they could have sold before it went into foreclosure.

  • Brogden Mar 13, 12:26 p.m.

    The mortgage "scam" did not cost these folks their "dream home". Their inability to make the mortgage payments to the lender did! Yes, the mortgage "scam" took money from them and left them in worse shape than when they started but the headline is incorrect. Sad, but the truth is they were unable to pay their mortgage and lost their home.

More...