A Potomac man was charged with a theft scheme for allegedly accepting upfront payments for mortgage loan modifications in violation of state and federal law, according to the Maryland attorney general’s office.
William E. Wayland, 50, of Milboro Drive, faces a charge of theft scheme between $10,000 and $100,000 and eight counts of a mortgage assistance relief violation, according to court records.
The charges come as the result of an investigation that found Wayland supposedly accepted upfront payments from five people seeking mortgage loan modifications, according to a press release from Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s office.
The investigation was conducted by the commissioner of financial regulation, part of the Maryland Department of Labor.
Wayland was indicted Thursday, and the attorney general’s office announced the case against him Monday.
When reached Tuesday morning through a number listed with his business, United Financial in Bethesda, Wayland denied the accuracy of the charges against him.
“The allegations are all false,” Wayland said. “I’ve helped plenty of people out and unfortunately, out of ten thousand people that I’ve helped, there are five complaints and I’ll deal with them.”
Upfront payment for mortgage loan modifications is prohibited by the Maryland Mortgage Relief Services Act, a 2013 law that allowed criminal investigation in the state for mortgage relief services in violation of federal law.
The Federal Trade Commission outlawed upfront payments for mortgage modification in 2010, considering the practice conducive to scams, The Washington Post reported.
Such payments often involve people or firms soliciting individuals with false promises offering to persuade their lender to cut monthly payments or otherwise adjust their loan in exchange for money up front, according to the Post.
The attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting Wayland, stated he allegedly accepted upfront payments between May 23, 2014, and April 15, 2016.
In May 2014, the commissioner issued a cease-and-desist order against Wayland for earlier upfront loan modification agreements, dating to 2010, that he allegedly carried out through United Financial.
Wayland is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville on Sept. 8.