Bryan Cohen Aug. 28, 2014, 2:10pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against four interrelated companies and their principals for allegedly operating a fraudulent loan modification scheme.

Clear Solutions and Settlements Inc., JR Holding Group Corp., Home Affordable Solutions Inc., Home Affordable Direct Inc. and their principals, Shadi Soumekh and Javier Gutierrez, allegedly preyed upon financially vulnerable consumers by claiming they could prevent foreclosure and provide mortgage relief through loan modifications. The defendants allegedly collected illegal advance fees and failed to deliver on their promises.

“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful, and that is why our office has aggressively cracked down on those who prey upon vulnerable consumers at risk of losing their home,” Schneiderman said. “I am proud to stand up for middle class New Yorkers against predatory scammers seeking to exploit those still reeling from the housing crisis.”

Schneiderman's office secured a temporary restraining order against the defendants that bars them from collecting illegal advance fees from homeowners and operating their business without providing legal disclosures. The order also froze the companies' bank accounts.

The lawsuit seeks to provide restitution and damages to consumers and obtain disgorgement of profits. The suit also seeks penalties and the end of the alleged illegal practices.

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