RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced a lawsuit Tuesday against an Alexandria resident and his two mortgage loan modification companies for allegedly charging illegal advance fees for foreclosure rescue services.

MidAtlantic Loan Solutions Inc., MidAtlantic Financial Solutions LLC and Joel Steinberg, the companies' owner, allegedly violated the Virginia Foreclosure Rescue law by charging advance fees of up to $1,500 related to services to prevent or avoid foreclosure. The defendants also allegedly violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by failing to deliver on promises to help consumers obtain mortgage loan modifications.

The VCPA prohibits suppliers from using deceptive, fraudulent, false pretenses, false promises or misrepresentations related to consumer transactions.

Cuccinelli's lawsuit asks the court to prevent MLS, MFS and Steinberg from violating the VCPA, require money to be returned to consumers where services were not completely performed and require the payment of civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each VCPA violation.

The lawsuit represents the seventh enforcement action brought by Cuccinelli's office against operators of foreclosure rescue companies. Cuccinelli continues to work with the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions to identify companies thought to be violating the prohibition on advance fees for foreclosure rescue companies.

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