A fraud case involving an alleged loan modification/foreclosure consultant in the Santa Maria area is being investigated by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
The case involves an organization that operates primarily out of Los Angeles County but has victimized many homeowners in northern Santa Barbara County.
The organization appears to be run by people identified by community members as Ismael Cancinos and Mercedes Alvarez, according to the DA’s office.
They may operate under the business names of Hermandad Hispanic Group, Crown Point Education and America Asset Management. They may have offered loan modification services as well as other “programs” promising to stop foreclosures or save homes in foreclosure.
If you have information about any of these groups or the individuals, or if you believe you have been a victim, contact District Attorney Investigator Jennifer Glimp at 737-7871. If you are primarily Spanish speaking, contact District Attorney Investigative Assistant Maria Chavez at 346-7519.
It is illegal for loan modification and foreclosure consultants to charge any advance or up-front fees for their services, according to the DA’s office. All contract terms must be met before any fees can be collected, and all contracts must be in writing and must comply with statutory regulations.