Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
New Caledonia Inc

Also known as:

Loan Modification Scam

April 18, 2012

New Caledonia Inc, d/b/a Spirit Financial does not hold the necessary licenses to offer third party loan modification services in Washington State. Consumers have reported behavior that appears fraudulent and also does not appear compliant with applicable federal laws prohibiting the collection of advance fees.

Consumers have reported that they have been contacted by individuals claiming to offer third party residential mortgage loan modification services. The names associated with these transactions are New Caledonia Inc and Spirit Financial. Consumers report that they received solicitations via email and that they paid advance fees for these services, but did not receive assistance. Consumers reported that they received multiple emails from New Caledonia Inc, d/b/a Spirit Financial wherein the representatives claimed to be “working on” the loan modification with the Consumer’s servicing company and that the file is “in review”; however, when the Consumer contacted the servicing company it became apparent that no effort was being made that would result in a loan modification offering from the servicer. Consumers also stated that the company offered a full refund if no loan modification was obtained; however, each time the Consumer requested a full refund they were disconnected and were unable to continue contacting the company. When the Consumer contacted the company by telephone requesting to speak with Keith, the representative stated that Keith had been fired for insubordination and for making promises to consumers that were not possible.

Consumers have provided the following names of employees who represented the company: Keith, Ed, Amber Elias, Myrna Valdez, and Patrick Johnson.

Contact information associated with New Caledonia Inc, d/b/a Spirit Financial that have been identified include: Wirespeed Telecommunications, 401 Main Street, Box 401, Rockford Illinois 61101; 109 E 17th Street, Suite 25, Cheyenne ,Wyoming 82001-4548; telephone numbers and faxes: 888-414-6770, 877-778-3852, 888-711-0108, 424-243-9009; emails: Amber@nhfnow.com, no-reply@salesforce.com, myrna@nhfnow.com. Associated website: spiritfinancial.org, nhfnow.com

DFI has no other verifiable leads regarding the identity or location of the perpetrators of this loan modification scam.

Verify Licenses

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).

Report Violators

If you feel you have been victimized by these individuals, and you reside in Washington State, you may file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions by contacting the Consumer Services Division at 360-902-8703, or by filing a complaint at www.dfi.wa.gov/cs/complaint.htm.

You may also file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. For more information, See Filing a complaint at the Attorney General’s website, or call toll free 1-80-551-4636 for assistance. (TTY: 1-800-276-9883).

What to do if you’re having trouble with a third-party loan modification company, or a fraudulent company: After filing a complaint with the above agencies, contact your residential mortgage servicer (the company where you make your monthly mortgage payments) and alert them to your situation. Request to be evaluated for a loan modification or other workout solution. You may also visit the Housing and Urban Development website at www.hud.gov and obtain a list of HUD-approved housing counselors. These services are generally free and they are trained to assist consumers with housing counseling. You may also visit our website at www.dfi.wa.gov and review the education and outreach pages concerning foreclosure prevention and options that are available for persons having difficulty paying their mortgages.

These kinds of contacts should also be reported to federal law enforcement authorities if you feel that you have been a victim of theft.

You may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation online: www.fbi.gov or by telephone: (202) 324-3000.

We also suggest contacting the Federal Trade Commission online: www.ftc.gov or toll free: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). (TTY: 1-866-653-4261).

If the caller has indicated they may know private information, such as your Social Security number, other account numbers, or contact information for work or other associates, you should take steps to protect yourself against identity theft. There is information on the FTC website about steps to take to protect yourself from identity theft, and what to do to protect yourself in the event you are a victim of identity theft.

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