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Consumer fraud lawsuit filed against Bold Funding

A consumer fraud lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Bold Funding, a company that was supposed to help homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

Two years ago Bobby Whitehead was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He tried to keep working but eventually lost his business and fell behind in mortgage payments. Whitehead turned to a company called Bold Funding, giving them a $1,200 check.

"It was devastating because it was the last money I had because I'm on disability now. So I sent them the last money I had," said Bobby Whitehead

Bold Funding advertised on the internet and on radio nationally: "Are you facing foreclosure or has your home already gone to sheriff's sale? You do not have to lose your home."

The ads got Debbie Ritenour's attention when she was threatened with eviction. She'd been fighting a foreclosure on her Chicago home since her parents died and left it to her four years ago. She also showed us a cancelled check to bold funding for $2,500.

Ritenour and Whitehead say they didn't get help from Bold Funding and lost the money the paid up front.

"It really doesn't put you in a better way to know that you're no better off than where you started but in a worse situation because too much time has elapsed," said Debbie Ritenour

"Bold funding was advertising they could save your home and put you in touch with private investors and these people would refinance your mortgage and save your home. What the complaint alleges is that no one obtained homes after paying thousands of dollars," said Joseph Hudson, Cook Co. State's Attorney, Consumer Division.

The Cook County State's Attorney Office started getting complaints about Bold Funding last month and hasn't been able to find anyone who has received foreclosure help from Bold Funding. Today, the office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Bold Funding.

"People who have very little money to start with, and, if they're paying money, they should receive the services promised," said Hudson.

ABC 7 went to the address listed on Bold Funding's letterhead, but only found a post office box. The suit also names the president of bold funding as Bruce Wagner. ABC 7 found him at a gold coast high-rise, but he declined to talk.

"I'm hoping I can get my money back but really the main thing I'm hoping is that they could just stop this and shut those guys down. From doing this to other people," said Whitehead.

The attorney representing Bold Funding also declined to comment on camera but told ABC 7 by phone Bold Funding never promised to refinance -- but offered to find a private investor to sell the home back to the owner. He said they have pulled the radio ads and shut down the website.

If you have a complaint about Bold Funding, call the Cook County State's Attorney's Office at 312-603-8700.

For more information:

Illinois Department Of Financial And Professional Regulation www.idfpr.com or (877) 793-3470

Do's and Don'ts of getting foreclosure help
1) contact your bank and find someone who has authority to work out a payment plan
2) reach out to legitimate credit counselors (check the department's website)
3) seek legal assistance (check with the American Bar Association, IL Bar Association or the Chicago Bar Association for an attorney who will work on an affordable payment schedule)

Also be sure to use a licensed broker or bank (check the department's website). And only give truthful information to your lender. Giving false information to a financial institution is fraud.

Better Business Bureau www.chicago.bbb.org

The Better Business Bureau can tell you if a company if a member and if that company has any complaints.

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