Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week I filed an action against Ocwen Financial Corporation for the company’s alleged mortgage servicing misconduct. My office, along with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, filed the complaint claiming that Ocwen failed to adequately perform basic mortgage servicing functions, causing widespread errors and financial harm to Florida borrowers. We are seeking financial and other relief for harmed borrowers and an order preventing Ocwen from servicing loans in violation of our state and federal law.
It is my office’s duty to protect the more than 125,000 Ocwen borrowers in Florida. Since 2014, when we first entered the multistate settlement with Ocwen, we have listened to Ocwen’s promises that they would "right the ship" and resolve the improper mortgage servicing and foreclosure misconduct that has plagued it. Enough is enough. Florida’s distressed Ocwen borrowers should no longer have to endure costly servicing errors and unfair practices.
Despite the $2.1 billion national settlement reached with Ocwen in 2014 addressing the company’s mortgage servicing misconduct, Ocwen allegedly continued to violate consumer protection laws. According to the complaint my office filed yesterday, Ocwen harmed Floridians by filing illegal foreclosures, mishandling loan modifications, misapplying mortgage payments, failing to pay insurance premiums from escrow and collecting excessive fees.
We will continue to work with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and our other state and federal partners to ensure Floridians are protected from mortgage servicing and foreclosure abuses. I encourage Florida homeowners who may have been harmed by Ocwen’s actions or other unfair business practices to file a complaint by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM.
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Attorney General Pam Bondi is highlighting progress in efforts to eliminate the state’s backlog of unprocessed sexual assault kits. The latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report shows 2,963 kits tested in just nine months. These tests have produced 681 matches in the Combined DNA Index System.
“The trauma of a sexual assault can haunt a victim their entire life, especially if the predator is never caught. That is why this Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, I am highlighting the great progress being made to test the state’s unprocessed sexual assault kits. Testing these kits has produced hundreds of matches in DNA databases that can be used by law enforcement to track down suspects and hopefully solve crimes,” said Attorney General Bondi. More.
Attorney General Bondi’s Statement on Florida House Passing HB 477
Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding the Florida House of Representatives’ unanimous passing of HB 477—legislation that will add Fentanyl and other deadly synthetic drugs to Florida’s drug trafficking statute:
“Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than morphine that is being cut with other drugs and sold as heroin. Taking Fentanyl just one time can kill–and that is why I want to thank each member of the Florida House for voting to give prosecutors the tools to seek stronger sentences against traffickers selling Fentanyl and other deadly drugs in our state. We must continue to work together, and this legislation will help our continued efforts to combat this deadly crisis.”
FDLE Agents Arrest Daycare Worker on Child Pornography Charges
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Justin Dwayne Cross, 25, of 11316 Eagle Hill Drive, Riverview, on 20 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of transmission of child pornography.
The case will be prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution. More.
Jacksonville Woman Arrested for Travel Fraud Scheme
On March 20, 2017 Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the arrest of Maria Constanza Shults in connection with an organized travel fraud scheme operating in north and central Florida. According to the FDLE led investigation, Shults, 62, of Jacksonville¸ operated an organized scheme defrauding a total of 27 known victims of more than $100,000. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi joining law enforcement and the Zephyrhills community to celebrate Helping Rock’s Transitional Housing Program, a new program serving those in need of clothing, food and shelter.
Attorney General Bondi visiting with members of the Helping Rock community at the housing program’s first community awareness event.
Pastor Eddy Reyes, founder of Helping Rock, speaking to local law enforcement, the Helping Rock community and volunteers.
Attorney General Bondi wants to extend a special thanks to Florida House Representative Jim Boyd for sponsoring HB 477 and Florida Senator Greg Steube for sponsoring the Senate companion bill, SB 150. This important legislation will add Fentanyl and other deadly synthetic drugs to Florida’s drug trafficking statute.
Representative Boyd and Senator Steube