Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced 29 victims of foreclosure-rescue fraud have started receiving payments from the state’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund.
Zoeller, whose office administers the fund, said these individuals will receive more than $67,200 in total payments with each person receiving an amount equal to their loss, up to the statutory cap of $3,000. Victims are from Hamilton, Marion, Allen, Fountain, St. Joseph, Henry, Grant, Lake, Dearborn and Adams counties.
Foreclosure-rescue fraud targets homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments or are already in foreclosure. Foreclosure consultants charge customers large upfront fees in exchange for assistance in reducing monthly payments or stopping foreclosure. Most often, desperate homeowners pay the fees and don’t receive the promised services or a refund.
Zoeller said Hoosiers currently receiving relief are victims of several different foreclosure assistance scammers, including one of the worst offenders the office has seen in recent years – Daniel Shrader. Shrader worked as an agent for at least 11 foreclosure-rescue companies and scammed victims in the Indianapolis area into making payments as large as $20,000. The AG’s office obtained a default judgment against him in May 2014 in which he was ordered to pay victims a total $117,500, but he has failed to do so.
Now, Zoeller said, the ten victims involved in this case will see some relief. The AG’s office will continue to pursue recovery efforts in the Shrader case, which, if received, will be deposited into the CPAF.
Since the program began, the AG’s office has paid out $1.2 million to Hoosier victims through the fund.
Homeowners who are facing foreclosure should contact the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network at 1-877-GET-HOPE for free foreclosure prevention counseling. Struggling homeowners may qualify to receive mortgage payment assistance from the Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund.
This state program offers foreclosure assistance at no charge. Zoeller said homeowners should be aware of scam artists who ask for a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan. Foreclosure-relief fraud victims may file complaints with the Indiana Office of the Attorney General at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 800-382-5516.