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Schuette Announces $747,000 in Restitution for Southeast Michigan

Victims of Mortgage Fraud


Contact: Joy Yearout 517-373-8060

November 6, 2014
LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the major distribution
of $747,094 from the State's Foreclosure Scam Restitution Fund to compensate 36 southeast Michigan
victims of mortgage modification fraud who would otherwise never see a dime of restitution. Victims of the
Nationwide Consulting, LLC mortgage modification scam will now be fully compensated for money lost.
"We created the Homeowner Protection Fund to aid the thousands of Michigan citizens who lost
their hard-earned money to mortgage rescue scams," Schuette said. "In many of these cases, the money
was spent by the scammer long before they were convicted, so the chance of victims being repaid in the
short term is slim."
"While we can never bring back a home lost to foreclosure, what we can do is secure restitution to
help victimized citizens rebuild their lives. This fund is a good first step, and it will directly benefit the citizens
who need it most."
The individual victim reimbursement amounts will range from $250 to $208,000. Schuette's office
will send a letter to each victim notifying them of their upcoming reimbursement. The Wayne County Clerk's
office will disburse the checks beginning today.
The victims receiving restitution payments all sought mortgage modifications from Nationwide
Consulting, LLC. The operators of the business, Kenneth Sandoval and Zacharia Ortiz were both convicted
for their role in the scam. Sandoval was sentenced to serve up to twenty years in prison and is currently
incarcerated at the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, Michigan. Ortiz is currently out on parole
following the completion of his sentence.

Foreclosure Rescue Scam Restitution Fund


The Foreclosure Rescue Scam Victim Restitution fund was created as a part of the Homeowner
Protection Fund monies received by the State of Michigan to resolve the National Mortgage
Settlement. Many Michigan residents have fallen prey to foreclosure rescue scam artists who offered to
help citizens save their homes. This program is intended to provide restitution payments for victims of
foreclosure scams who would otherwise be left with nothing.
Once convictions are secured, victims provide verification of loss to the Department of Attorney
General. After the information is verified, the money is sent from the Michigan Department of Treasury to
the Clerk of the Court in the county where the conviction occurred. The money is then dispersed to victims.
The Wayne County Clerk has advised that the checks are in the process of being mailed to eligible victims.
If a victim is receiving a check for $10,000 or more, the Clerk has requested the victim come in to claim
their check in the Clerk's office. For more information on the Wayne County Clerk's office including location
and contact information, please visit the following link: http://bit.ly/1tAQWQy.
Schuette noted that convicted defendants remain responsible for restitution. Once the victims have
been made whole, all payments made by defendants to fulfill their court-ordered restitution obligation will
be used to replenish the fund.
In March 2014, $114,542 was distributed to more than 112 victims of the Hope4Homeowners
mortgage rescue scam. Together with Nationwide Consulting restitution award, nearly $1 million has been
returned to the pockets of Michigan mortgage fraud victims via the fund.
Mortgage Settlement and Homeowner Protection Fund Background
The historic National Mortgage Settlement followed state and federal investigations, which alleged
that the five mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a
notary public and without personal knowledge that the facts contained in the documents were correct. This
civil law enforcement action also alleged that the servicers committed widespread errors and abuses in
their foreclosure processes. Broad reform of the mortgage servicing process resulted from the settlement,
as well as financial relief for borrowers still in their homes through direct loan modification relief, including
principal reduction.
Michigan citizens received approximately $858,481,143 in benefits from the settlement. The State
of Michigan also received a direct payment of $97 million from the servicers. Schuette worked with the
legislature and Governor Rick Snyder to establish the Michigan Homeowner Protection Fund to ensure
these funds are directed toward victims of foreclosure. On August 1, 2013, Governor Rick Snyder signed
legislation creating the $97 Million Homeowner Protection Fund.

To read more about the additional programs under the Homeowner Protection Fund,
visit: http://1.usa.gov/1oQJCvt.
For more information on the mortgage settlement, including a consumer alert and a Frequently Asked
Questions document available for download, visit www.michigan.gov/mortgagesettlement
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