WRAL Investigates

Mortgage "aid" to cost Granville couple dream home

Posted March 12, 2014 7:45 p.m. EDT
Updated March 15, 2014 10:58 a.m. EDT

— 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.