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State Sues Charlotte Foreclosure Companies

American Mortgage Assistance, Home Assure and Metrolina Mortgage Relief are accused of charging customers upwards of $1,000 in exchange for help avoiding foreclosure. The problem is it's against the law in North Carolina to charge customers upfront for such assistance. "Many states don't have this law, but it gives us a tool to get rid of the scam artists early," says Attorney General Roy Cooper. "We don't have to go into court and try to prove if they've helped the consumer, because most all of the time they don't." Cooper says he's received about 20 complaints from customers of the three Charlotte companies. He hopes others will come forward after hearing about the lawsuit. The state is seeking restitution for the swindled customers, as well as possible civil penalties. These are the first such lawsuits in North Carolina since the mortgage meltdown forced a spike in foreclosures.