Bryan Cohen Mar. 1, 2013, 6:37pm

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment by default Thursday against the owner of a debt adjustment service company that failed to comply with an earlier state order.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge John Albert entered the judgment Feb. 8 against Laura Schuster and her now-dissolved company, Midwest Homeowner Solutions LLC. The judgment found that Schuster operated an unlicensed debt adjustment service company and allegedly collected illegal fees from consumers in Wisconsin.

On Nov. 30, 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued an order against Schuster and her company alleging that they conducted adjustment service company business without first obtaining a license. The order required Schuster and Midwest to discontinue all illegal activity and refund fees that customers paid them for debt adjustment services. Schuster and Midwest did not comply with the order.

The DFI issued a notice of hearing to Midwest and Schuster on Jan. 28, 2011. Midwest and Schuster failed to respond in writing to the notice and did not appear at the prehearing conference or the hearing. After the DFI issued a second order, Midwest and Schuster filed two petitions that were both denied and the company was later dissolved.

Under the terms of the judgment, Schuster must pay $12,827.50 in civil forfeiture, pay court fees, refund all fees to customers and cease unlicensed adjustment service company business.

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