Palm Beach Gardens mortgage mod firm to pay $18.8 million to help distressed homeowners

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Three Palm Beach County men, including a Palm Beach Gardens attorney, have agreed to an $18.8 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission following charges the trio preyed on struggling homeowners seeking loan modifications.

The FTC, which filed suit against First Universal Lending in 2009, believes 13,500 people nationwide suffered losses because of company practices that included charging upfront fees as high as $7,000 and failing to contact lenders to negotiate lower mortgage payments.

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