Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed five lawsuits against companies around the country he claims have scammed Hoosiers trying to keep their homes. Since 2006, the AG’s office has filed 110 suits against foreclosure consultant companies.
The companies – Freedom Equity Savings of Ohio; Integrity Mortgage and Credit Solutions of Florida; Provident Law Group Inc. of California; Nationwide Mediation Services of California; and Global Equity Solutions, also know as Peachtree Consultants of Georgia – are accused of violating Indiana’s consumer protection laws and taking more than $11,300 from six customers living in Hamilton, Lake, Marion, Parke and Union counties. The companies promised to reduce the homeowners’ interest rates or monthly payments in exchange for an upfront fee.
Some customers paid as much as $3,000 before realizing there were no changes to their home loans.
The suit claims the companies violated the Credit Services Organization Act, the Mortgage Rescue Protection Fraud Act, the Home Loan Practices Act, and Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The companies didn’t register a $25,000 surety bond with the AG’s office to conduct business as foreclosure consultants in Indiana.
Because default judgments against these types of companies often don’t end up with the victims receiving any payments for their financial losses, the Consumer Protection Assistance Fund was created by the Indiana Legislature. In April, the fund, which is administered by the AG’s office, paid $22,571 to victims of foreclosure-rescue and/or consumer mortgage fraud. More than 70 victims received payments totaling $60,000 from the fund in December 2011.
The fund is made up of money recovered from those sued by the AG’s office for violating consumer protection laws.