Zoeller sues Ohio business
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a complaint Thursday against an Ohio-based foreclosure consultant company for allegedly deceiving close to 600 Indiana consumers.
Foreclosure Assistance USA, Inc., is charged with misrepresenting itself to consumers who believed that the company would help prevent foreclosures on their homes. The claims were made on the company's Web site, through telephone calls and in radio and direct mail advertisements, the suit says.
"Out of state companies often don't believe the Indiana attorney general's office has jurisdiction over their practices," Zoeller said.
"That's simply not true. The vast majority of foreclosure consultant scams originate outside Indiana and this enforcement action reflects that we are not bound by state borders.
"We believe thousands of Hoosiers have been taken advantage of by foreclosure consultants and it is my duty to zealously pursue these organizations, to seek restitution for the victims and to continue to educate consumers about the available non-profit alternatives."
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Foreclosure Assistance USA violated Indiana law by not having the required $25,000 surety bond while accepting money up-front from customers for services that had not yet been performed. The company is also charged with misrepresenting their consultants as experts in the area of foreclosure prevention.
A new law takes affect in Indiana on July 1 requiring all foreclosure consultants operating in the state to have a $25,000 surety bond on file with the attorney general's office, regardless of whether the company demands money up-front for services or not.