For immediate release: Monday June 28, 2021
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein is taking action to protect North Carolina residents struggling to make their mortgage payments from illegal debt adjustment and mortgage relief scams. He filed a lawsuit against California claims adjuster Michael Grinnell and his companies, Home Relief Services and Amstar Services, and a second lawsuit against Ali Reza Karimi and his New York-based company, Consumer Proponents & Associates Corporation.
“These out-of-state defendants targeted North Carolinians who were trying to make ends meet and keep their homes, took their money up front, then dropped them,” the prosecutor said. General Josh Stein. âMy office will not allow crooks to take advantage of vulnerable people, and I will fight for relief for these North Carolina homeowners. “
Debt adjustment, or the promise to help with foreclosures or loan modifications in exchange for prepayments, is illegal in North Carolina. In his two lawsuits, Attorney General Stein alleges that the defendants collected illegal advances from North Carolina consumers while falsely promising that they would reduce the consumer’s mortgage payments, obtain forbearance and prevent foreclosure from their house. They did not provide any of these services. In addition, Karimi and her company filed bankruptcy claims on behalf of their clients, which were ultimately dismissed by the courts because they did not meet the necessary legal requirements.
At least two North Carolinians have lost more than $ 5,000 combined as a result of Grinnell’s actions. At least 14 North Carolina residents, including some small businesses, have lost more than $ 37,840 combined as a result of Karimi’s actions.
Attorney General Stein is seeking an injunction as well as the cancellation of all contracts with North Carolina clients, restitution, civil penalties and attorney fees.
A copy of the Grinnell complaint is available here.
A copy of the Karimi complaint is available here.