LAS VEGAS — Steven Vitalich, owner of Consumer Loan Excellence of America and NBMS of America, was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of theft of obtaining $2,500 or more, and one count of theft of scamming morning of $250 by promising clients he would secure mortgage loan modifications to substantially reduct their monthly payments.
After collecting large advance fees, Vitalich, 46, reportedly performed no substantive work for the clients and eventually disappeared with the money, according to the office of Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.
According to the complaint filed in justice court of Las Vegas, Nevada Attorney General’s Office is charging Vitalich with unlawfully misrepresenting services to obtain more than $2,500 to people more than 60 years old or older between April 8 and June 2009 a class B felony in two cases. Some fees for a client reached more than $7,500.
Either he or his agents reportedly took fees in large sums from elderly clients and refused to return the fees when asked, after clients began questioning the agents after no work on their mortgage remodifications were done, according to the complaint.
Vitalich was booked in the Clark County Detention Center following Thursday’s arrest.
The criminal complaint is a formal allegation that the defendant has committed a crime. It is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“Nevadans continue to struggle with the economic downturn which has wreaked havoc on our state’s housing market,” said Masto. “Some homeowners will do anything they can to stay in their home, including unknowingly turning to predators. I hope this prosecution serves as a warning to other would be predators to think twice taking advantage of Nevada homeowners.”
In early 2010, the Attorney General’s office launched an investigation of Consumer Loan Excellence of America in response to numerous consumer complaints filed with the office.
The case was investigated and is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Justice Fraud Unit.
An initial hearing in Department 8 of the Justice Court of Las Vegas Township is scheduled for April 16.
‘Remember that homeowners should never pay up front fees to reduce their loans,” Masto said. “Help is free and generally speaking, no one should pay for assistance.”
Nevadans who face mortgage difficulties should instead contact a non-profit housing counselor, either through www.HUD.gov or a local non-profit housing clinic, to learn about the mortgage process and their rights as homeowners.
Anyone who has information regarding this case or to report loan modification scam can contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline at 702-486-3132. Once connected press “0” to receive instructions on how to submit a complaint.
Read the criminal complaint by visiting: http://bit.ly/VitalichComplaint.