Bryan Cohen Jun. 26, 2013, 7:23pm

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) -- Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed lawsuits Tuesday against two Florida-based foreclosure consultant companies after they allegedly took $7,500 upfront from homeowners and failed to provide services or refunds.

CapLaw P.A. and Jeffrey A. Smith Law Group P.A. allegedly engaged in the illegal solicitation of Indiana residents and entered into contracts with homeowners promising to obtain home loan modifications in exchange for upfront fees.

"Illegitimate foreclosure consultants prey on already struggling homeowners who are desperate to stay in their homes," Zoeller said in a statement. "Indiana has strong statutes protecting homeowners that prohibit for-profit companies to ask for money up front.

"Consultants who make 'too good to be true' promises that end up costing consumers thousands of dollars and meanwhile the foreclosure process moves forward are not welcome in Indiana. My office will use the resources necessary to shield homeowners from being ripped off."

CapLaw P.A., also known as the Law Office of James F. Caplan P.A., and its owner James Caplan allegedly collected $1,200 to $3,300 in upfront fees from two consumers.

Jeffrey A. Smith Law Group P.A., also known as JAS Law Group and Jeffrey A. Smith Law Firm, and its owner Jeffrey Smith, allegedly took $3,034 upfront from one homeowner in Martinsville.

Both defendants allegedly took the money without rendering services or providing refunds, failed to register $25,000 surety bonds with Zoeller's office and did not obtain certificates of authority to conduct business from the Indiana Secretary of State's office.

The lawsuits allege the defendants violated Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, the Home Loan Practices Act, the Mortgage Rescue Protection Act and the Credit Services Organization Act.

The lawsuits seek injunctions, restitution, civil penalties and attorney fees.

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