Business briefs

May. 23, 2013 @ 06:53 PM

CoreLogic reports drop in area foreclosure rate

IRVINE, Calif. -- The foreclosure rate in the Durham-Chapel Hill area was down in the March over the same period last year, according to data released by the information, analytics and services provider CoreLogic.

The firm reported the rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans in the area was 1.36 percent for March. That was down 0.46 percentage points compared to the same month last year, when the rate was 1.82 percent.

Foreclosure activity in Durham-Chapel Hill was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 2.84 percent in the month.

Also in Durham-Chapel Hill, the firm reported that mortgage delinquency rate was down. CoreLogic reported that 4.13 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 4.77 percent for the same period last year.

NC attorney general sues debt settlement firm

RALEIGH – The state’s attorney general filed a lawsuit this week against a Texas law firm to stop what he claims are illegal debt relief schemes impacting North Carolina consumers.

Attorney General Roy Cooper filed the suit against Swift Rock Financial Inc., also known as World Law Group, its owner and other subsidiaries, according to a news release from his office.

The complaint alleges that World Law Group has marketed its services through mailings that claim the firm can help people settle their credit card debt and become debt-free.

Cooper claims the program is actually an advance-fee scheme that collects thousands of dollars in upfront fees from consumers but rarely obtains any debt relief. Under North Carolina law, it’s illegal to collect any upfront fee for debt settlement services.

In addition, the complaint also alleges that World Law Group claims to have a network of local attorneys to help consumers with their debt issues, but, according to the release, his investigation found no evidence that the group has licensed attorneys that assist consumers.

The N.C. State Bar joined the lawsuit because the firm allegedly advertised and offered legal services, but is not authorized or licensed to practice law in the stsate, the release states.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning, Jr. agreed with Cooper’s request to temporarily halt the defendants from offering debt settlement services in the state, the release states.

They are barred under court order from taking payments or entering into contracts with consumers while the case against them goes forward.

Cooper’s office is seeking a permanent stop to the company’s activities in North Carolina and refunds for consumers.