The FTC announced this morning that it has settled charges it brought against related companies that allegedly peddled fake mortgage assistance relief to financially distressed Spanish-speaking homeowners in the U.S. In July 2012, the FTC filed a complaint alleging that the defendants, operating from the Dominican Republic, with violating the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule. According to the complaint, the defendants promised to dramatically lower homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments in exchange for a large fee, collected more than $2 million in fees in three years, but failed to provide homeowners with the promised services. A U.S. district court stopped the operation in July. The FTC settlement bans the defendants from marketing any mortgage assistance relief products or services, and it prohibits the defendants from making misleading claims about any product, service, plan, or program that they market or advertise.