Wisconsin AG files action against debt company owner

By Bryan Cohen | Jan 2, 2013

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a complex civil forfeiture lawsuit Wednesday against the former owner of an unlicensed debt adjustment service company.

Laura Schuster, the owner of the now-dissolved Midwest Homeowner Solutions, allegedly collected illegal fees from Wisconsin consumers and operated the debt adjustment service company without a license.

Van Hollen's lawsuit enforces an order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

On Nov. 30, 2010, The DFI issued an order against Schuster and Midwest Homeowner Solutions requiring them to refund all fees to consumers and cease unlicensed adjustment service company business. Schuster allegedly failed to comply with the order.

On Jan. 28, 2011, DFI issued a notice of hearing to the defendants informing them that a hearing about the matter would take place on March 2, 2011. The defendants failed to respond in writing to the notice of hearing, appear at the pre-hearing conference or the hearing. At that time, a second order was issued against the defendants requiring them to pay $10,000 in forfeitures.

Schuster and Midwest filed a petition for review on May 26, 2011. The Dane County Circuit Court upheld the order on appeal and denied a motion for reconsideration.

Midwest was administratively dissolved by the DFI on June 14, 2011.

The lawsuit requests that the court enforce the orders against Schuster, requiring her to refund all money paid by consumers for her company's services, pay $10,000 in forfeitures and pay up to $1,000 per day that she failed to comply with the order.

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