Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
First Liberty Consultants

Unlicensed Loan Modification Services

May 28, 2013

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a Washington consumer regarding the website first-liberty.com. The consumer reported speaking with Jay Carter and John Houston regarding a modification of the existing mortgage.

First Liberty Consultants sent the consumer a "schedule of payments" after which the mortgage would be modified to reduce the monthly payment amount. These documents also included an introductory letter from the "U.S. Federal Foreclosure [sic] Consultants" indicating that the registration fee was required to be paid up-front, but that it would be returned once the packet of documents had been received and approved in Washington D.C.

The consumer paid First Liberty Consultants approximately $1500 before detecting the likelihood of a scam. First Liberty Consultants did not provide the services it promised to the consumer.

DFI investigated the registrant of the website and the phone numbers associated with this company, and determined that it is likely based in Québec, Canada.

First Liberty Consultants is not licensed with DFI or registered with the Washington Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, or Department of Licensing.

DFI encourages all Washington consumers to be wary of offers that seem "too good to be true." DFI also advises consumers that many fraudulent companies are using the Internet to make phone calls. These phone calls can appear that they are coming from a local number when, in reality, the phone call is coming from outside the state or even from a foreign country.

Verify Licenses

DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those consumer lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether companies are properly licensed using the "Verify a License" feature on the DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov.

Report Fraud

If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a mortgage broker, consumer lender, money transmitter, or escrow agent; contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions 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, 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, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center 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.

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