The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has reached an agreement with a major subprime mortgage servicer to modify certain terms of a 2003 court settlement, providing substantial benefits to consumers beyond those in the original settlement, including account adjustments and reimbursements or refunds of fees paid in certain circumstances.
In November 2003, Fairbanks Capital Corp. and Fairbanks Capital Holding Corp. agreed to pay $40 million to settle with the FTC and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which charged them with engaging in a number of unfair, deceptive, and illegal practices in the servicing of subprime mortgage loans. The Commission distributed the $40 million as redress to affected consumers. The settlement also imposed a number of specific limitations on Fairbanks’s ability to charge fees and engage in certain practices when servicing mortgage loans. In early 2004, the defendants changed their names to Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. and SPS Holding Corp.
The FTC conducted a review of Select Portfolio Servicing’s compliance with certain aspects of the 2003 settlement. The FTC and Select Portfolio Servicing negotiated and agreed to several modifications of the settlement. HUD has also agreed to these changes, which include:
The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the modified stipulated final judgment and order was 5-0. The motion requesting entry of the modified settlement order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
NOTE: This modified stipulated final order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. A modified stipulated final order requires approval by the court and has the force of law when signed by the judge.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.shtm or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click http://ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.
(FTC File No. X04-0005)