TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Tuesday that her office has secured $59,000 in restitution for approximately 430 customers allegedly harmed by a loan modification scam.

The settlement resolves allegations that Deleverage America Inc., Home Owner Protection Economics Inc. and DC Financial Group, all based in Delray Beach, along with owners Christopher S. Godfrey and Dennis Fischer, illegally charged up-front fees for foreclosure-related rescue services. In addition, the defendants allegedly failed to perform the services that they were paid to accomplish.

"Any homeowner who seeks the help of a foreclosure-related rescue service and is asked for an up-front fee should report that business to our office immediately," Bondi said. "This practice is prohibited by state law, and my office will continue to crack down on these illegal actions."

Bondi's office alleged that the defendants charged as much as $2,000 per person in up-front fees, which is prohibited in the state of Florida. In addition, the services paid for were allegedly never rendered.

The settlement permanently prevents the defendants from engaging in any foreclosure-related and loan modification rescue services. Consumers may return a claim form along with proof of payment to one of the named companies to Bondi's office by March 12.

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