The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a tip from a Washington attorney that a company, Another Level Capital Group, was seeking to hire Washington attorneys. The attorney would represent that he or she was associated with this company, and would receive payment for this representation, but the attorney would perform no actual work related to Another Level Capital Group. In essence, the company appears to be attempting to hire Washington attorneys in order to avoid state and federal laws regulating mortgage assistance relief services. DFI also was alerted to this company’s unlicensed loan modification activities by a consumer who had been solicited to engage Another Level Capital Group to perform loan modification services for the consumer.
The website for Another Level Capital Group appears to be anotherlevelcapitalgroup.com, and advertises residential loan modification services. The website’s registrant appears to be an individual working for a marketing company in California. Another Level Capital Group’s address, according to the Better Business Bureau, is 1200 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 1006, Seattle, Washington. DFI contacted the building manager, who stated that no such business is operating at that address.
DFI attempted to contact Another Level Capital Group, but received no response.
Much of the text on anotherlevelcapitalgroup.com is reproduced on a variety of other websites purporting to offer loan modification services, including cdloanmod.com, hrlconline.com, coast2coasts.net, and loanmod-shortsale-negotiation.com. Additionally, many of the "testimonials" on Another Level Capital Group’s website, with different names as "author," are also found on bestmortgageloanmodification.com, mortgagelawyer1.com, prudentlawgroup.com, directmortgagecounseling.org, myloanmodificationexpert.com, and other websites offering loan modification services. Some of the testimonials date from as far back as August, 2010.
DFI encourages consumers to contact DFI if they receive solicitations from an individual or company offering loan modification services. As of January 31, 2011, it is a violation of federal rule for companies offering mortgage assistance services to require up-front fees for their services. Additionally, loan modification service providers are required to be licensed with DFI. Attorneys performing loan modification services are exempted from the rule and Washington State law, but only if they are licensed to practice in Washington State, the loan modification activity is incidental to the representation of the client (i.e., as part of a bankruptcy), and any money received up-front from the consumer is placed in the attorney’s trust account in accordance with Washington state law.
If any Washington consumers have received a solicitation from a loan modification company that indicates your work may be done by an attorney, DFI encourages the consumers to ask for the attorney’s Washington State Bar Association number. Consumers may then wish to contact that attorney directly using the information found on the WSBA’s "Lawyer Directory" website at www.mywsba.org/default.aspx?tabid=177 to ensure that they are dealing with a Washington attorney who is engaged in loan modification activity as part of his or her practice of law.
DFI strongly recommends that residents verify the license of any lender with which they consider doing business with. Consumers are urged to verify licensing status prior to giving the lender nonpublic personal information, such as social security number and checking account access. You can verify a license with DFI at www.dfi.wa.gov or by calling 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
If you feel you are in immediate danger contact local law enforcement.
If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a mortgage broker or loan originator please contact DFI at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus.