Bryan Cohen Mar. 13, 2013, 5:57pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit Monday against two related businesses that allegedly purported to provide loan modification and mortgage relief to homeowners without ever providing the services.

The lawsuit alleges that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC, Mortgage Law Group LLC, Jason Searns, the companies' managing partner, Thomas Macey, the companies' senior partner, and Jeffery Aleman, another senior partner, preyed on vulnerable Missouri consumers dealing with difficult financial circumstances.

The defendants allegedly lured consumers with promises of debt settlements and mortgage modifications, encouraging the consumers to pay the companies rather than their creditors. Many consumers defaulted on their obligations as a result and the companies allegedly never provided the services to the consumers as promised.

"It is distressing that individuals would take advantage of people who are trying their best to save their homes," Koster said. "Not only did these scammers fail to help their customers, they actually made their financial situation much worse. My office will seek restitution for the cheated customers, and also work to shut these businesses down to protect other consumers from their fraudulent tactics."

The defendants allegedly broke Missouri's consumer protection laws by misrepresenting to consumers the results they could achieve and the time it would take to deliver, persuading consumers to stop making payments to creditors while failing to inform the consumers of the legal consequences, taking upfront payments from consumers for loan modification and debt relief services, failing to provide services as promised, failing to place legally required consumer rights notifications in contracts, misrepresenting that the services would be performed by licensed attorneys and practicing law in Missouri without a license.

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