In July, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered a final judgment to resolve allegations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) allegations against Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC (CFLA) and its owner, Andrew Lehman.
CFLA offers foreclosure relief services. According to the CFPB, CFLA and Lehman regularly performed “deceptive and abusive acts” that violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, and charged illegal advance fees related to marketing and selling its services to consumers.
The court order includes a permanent ban of CFLA and Lehman from the foreclosure relief services industry, and a $3 million judgment.
The CFPB initially filed its complaint in September 2019, and then amended it two months later. The complaint included allegations that CFLA and Lehman purposefully misrepresented the company’s mortgage assistance relief services and its ability to assist consumers with foreclosure avoidance and loan modification negotiations. The complaint also includes allegations of deceptive claims about the content of its services, plus false claims about the qualifications of the people who would be performing those services. Finally, the CFPB alleged consumers were charged illegal upfront fees.
The court had also previously entered a final judgment relating to these investigations against the former auditor of CFLA, Michael Carrigan.
Failure to follow the rules outlined in the Consumer Financial Protection Act can result in some significant penalties. In many cases, these violations can only be punished when a person familiar with the schemes comes forward to investigators with information to spur on a case.
If you are familiar with internal wrongdoing within your company, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to learn more about the steps you should take moving forward.