FTC Launches Claims Process for Victims of Deceptive Mortgage Relief Scheme

Federal Trade Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened a claims process for consumers who fell victim to a deceptive mortgage relief operation known as Lanier Law. The scheme, which promised consumers lower monthly payments but failed to deliver, collected upfront fees amounting to thousands of dollars from unsuspecting homeowners.

Lanier Law, operating under various names including Surety Law Group, Redstone Law Group, Fortress Law Group, and Liberty & Trust Law Group of Florida, was first targeted by the FTC in 2014. This action was part of a joint law enforcement sweep by federal and state authorities aimed at cracking down on fraudulent financial operations. In 2016, as a result of the FTC’s action, the defendants were barred from the debt relief business, and one of the scheme’s owners, Michael W. Lanier, was disbarred.

The FTC has now mailed notices to 2,503 consumers who are eligible to request a payment. Many of these consumers will also receive an email notification. Consumers have until March 18, 2024, to file their claims. They can do so online or contact the refund administrator by email or phone at 66-590-8211 with any questions or requests for assistance. Importantly, the FTC emphasizes that it never requires people to pay money or provide account information to apply for a refund.

For those harmed by Lanier Law’s mortgage relief scheme, this claims process offers a chance at restitution. The funds recouped could help offset some of the financial losses incurred by the victims of this operation. Moreover, the act of filing a claim can serve as a form of closure for these individuals, marking the end of a distressing chapter in their financial lives.

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