Action Line: Beware of mortgage loan auditors
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Sunday, August 05, 2012
8/06/12 at 4:45 PM
Correction: A Sunday Tulsa World Business story incorrectly identified where Kim States is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau. She is president and CEO of the organization in Tucson, Arizona. This story has been corrected.
Dear Action Line: I received a mailed notice from Mortgage Auditing Program of American Fork, Utah, that I might be "owed a refund of several thousand dollars" from my mortgage lender. It lists a mortgage signing date, a loan amount and says, "thousands of mortgages contain mistakes or overcharges" averaging $1,500. One-third of refunds are $3,000 to $7,500 that could be mine if I'd call an 888 number and recite a "reference case" number. Should I? - W.G.E., Tulsa.
No. The outfit is a dba of AMT Auditing Services LLC that has an "F" rating with the Salt Lake City, Utah, Better Business Bureau ( tulsaworld.com/BBBAudit). The bureau's report on AMT Auditing Services says it sends similar notices to consumers about multi-thousand-dollar refunds from mortgage lenders.
"For $249 the company performs a review of the payments you have made to your mortgage lender," the report states. "Consumers are asked to sign up for trial subscriptions to its debt cancellation program. It asks consumers to agree that after 30 days using the program for free, a monthly subscription fee of $49.95 will be charged. Complaints received allege consumers do not remember signing up for the debt cancellation program, refunds are not sent in a timely manner and company customer service is slow in resolving issues on the monthly fee or credits/refunds."
The Tulsa Better Business Bureau hasn't received any consumer complaints against the company. However, BBB Chief Operating Officer Rick Brinkley said several inquiries from eastern Oklahoma consumers have come in, leading him to believe Mortgage Auditing Program of American Fork is targeting the Tulsa market.
In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission warned, "So-called forensic loan auditors, mortgage loan auditors or foreclosure prevention auditors backed by forensic attorneys offer to review your mortgage loan documents to determine whether or not your lender complied with state and federal mortgage lending laws ( tulsaworld.com/FTCForensicLoanAudit). These auditors say you can use the audit report to avoid foreclosure, accelerate the loan modification process, reduce your loan principal or even cancel your loan. Nothing could be further from the truth."
AMT Auditing Services' website ( tulsaworld.com/AMT) offers mortgage audits for $299 and says AMT will determine whether consumers have been overcharged and notify them so they can obtain refunds from the lenders.
Some customers complained to the BBB that AMT took months to complete audits it promised within weeks. Complaints also allege the company delayed or reneged on promises of full refunds if the audit uncovered no overcharges. The company did not respond to a request for information from the BBB.
Complaints and reports from 25 states have reached BBB Salt Lake identifying Colton Moody as company manager. CRM Ventures LP and Enlightened LLC are alternate business names for AMT Auditing Services.
Tucson, Ariz., BBB President Kim States said the number and pattern of complaints involving AMT indicate "a significant and ongoing problem with the way this company handles its business. There remains continuing concerns over the value of mortgage audit and there certainly is no acceptable excuse for a business that seems to chronically ignore its own customers."
Original Print Headline: Beware of mortgage loan auditors
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