Consumer Fraud “Rescue” Business Banned and Charged with $250,000 Fine
Cook County State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine announced the charges filed against a fraudulent foreclosure “rescue” business involved in mortgage lending, following investigations that revealed the company’s violation of the Illinois law. Bold Funding Inc. is charged with Consumer Fraud related charges and has also been fined $250,000 and banned from doing business in the State of Illinois after making trades under false pretenses.
Bold Funding Inc., along with its owner-operator, Bruce Wagner, has been charged by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – Consumer Fraud Division for violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, on November 10, 2004. Alongside these charges, the defendants are also permanently enjoined from engaging in any form of business related to residential mortgage brokering, originating, or loan servicing activities to any member of the public or any property located in Illinois.
In 2004, a commercial post office box at 40 E. Chicago Avenue in Chicago has been designated by Bold Funding, Inc., as its “headquarters,” while concurrently operating their business in a website at www.boldfunding.com. Through this online business site, the fraudulent company was able to sponsor hundreds of commercials on local and out-of-state radio stations. With its wide-reach, above-the-line advertising, the defendants were able to swindle citizens out of hundreds of dollars under the false pretense that they are able to secure funding to refinance the mortgages of the individuals who signed up for their services; however, neither funding nor the funding arrangement has been manifested by the defendants. Beyond that, neither of the defendants ever possessed a residential mortgage broker’s or lender’s license for the State of Illinois.
Apart from falsely promising that the Bold Funding, Inc. is capable of securing private funding for loans in order to save individuals and their homes from mortgage foreclosures in exchange of a service fee ranging from $300 to $6,670, the defendants further claimed that they are able to rescue homes from foreclosure, even after the Sheriff’s sale. This massive scam proves to be one of the largest and most sophisticated foreclosure scams to be ever fulfilled.
Cook County State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine expressed his strong disapproval and condemnation to a punishment towards the defendant. “The taking of monies from vulnerable homeowners in foreclosure under false pretenses is reprehensible. Any company which purports to help homeowners who are in foreclosure must follow the law and fulfill its promises to assist its customers,” said State’s Attorney Devine.
The Consumer Fraud Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has brought the lawsuit forward, following receiving numerous complaints from citizens regarding the dishonest schemes of the defendants. Investigations revealed that neither of the defendants could identify a single client who has actually, properly received funding through the efforts and services provided by the company. Testimonies by the clients of the defendants also demonstrated the veracity of the mortgage business, which led to several home foreclosure and bankruptcy.
On April 18, 2006, during a hearing in Civil Court, Bold Funding Inc., along with its owner-operator, Bruce Wagner, has been ordered by Circuit Judge Julia Nowicki to pay retribution amounting to a total of $115,858, credited to the application fees of 74 former customers who were victimized of their fraudulent schemes. Additionally, the defendants were also fined $250,000 and were permanently banned from providing services and making any form of trade business involving residential mortgage loans in the Illinois State.
Further information on the lawsuit, as well as additional information on consumer fraud and consumer fraud safety protections, may be acquired from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – Consumer Fraud Unit through Telephone at (312) 603-8700.
Updated: October 9, 2020