Bryan Cohen Feb. 5, 2014, 3:35pm

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed three lawsuits on Tuesday against out-of-state foreclosure consultants that allegedly ripped off consumers in northeast Indiana.

Zoeller filed separate lawsuits against the California-based Mortgage Auditing Solutions, the Florida-based Mortgage Solutions Clearing House Inc. and the California-based Modification Law Center. All three companies allegedly took upfront payments from consumers. Mortgage Solutions Clearing House and Modification Law Center allegedly took upfront payments and failed to deliver the promised home loan modifications.

Foreclosure consultant companies are for-profit companies that promise homeowners they can lower home loan payments or stop foreclosure by negotiating with lenders. Many of the companies demand upfront payments and fail to deliver the promised services or provide refunds.

"Homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage along with higher heating bills need to know that illegitimate foreclosure consultants may target you with empty promises of saving your home," Zoeller said. "My office's Homeowner Protection Unit continues to diligently pursue these types of businesses and use all available resources to obtain restitution for victims who are already in difficult financial situations."

Mortgage Auditing Solutions allegedly violated the Home Loan Practices Act, Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Mortgage Rescue Protection Fraud Act and the Credit Services Organization Act. The other two defendants allegedly violated the Home Loan Practices Act and the Mortgage Rescue Protection Fraud Act. All three companies also failed to register required $25,000 surety bonds with Zoeller's office.

Zoeller's lawsuit seeks restitution for victims, civil penalties, investigative costs and injunctions against the companies.

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