GENEVA, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a lawsuit on Wednesday against a foreclosure consultant that allegedly ripped off a Geneva victim.
H&R Financial Services Inc. of New Mexico and owners Richard Ruegsegger and John Heckler allegedly collected an upfront payment of $1,683 from a Geneva resident and failed to obtain a promised home-loan modification or provide a refund.
"If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure it's important to find legitimate help early and not rely on unsolicited offers promising to stop foreclosure now or significantly reduce loan payments," Zoeller said. "Homeowners must be protected and that's why our office aggressively pursues violators and works to support victims left in their wake."
H&R Financial Services allegedly violated the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, the Mortgage Rescue Protection Fraud Act and the Credit Services Organization Act and failed to obtain a necessary authority certificate from the Secretary of State's office.
The lawsuit seeks restitution, civil penalties and an injunction.
Illegitimate foreclosure companies may advertise on the Internet, over the phone, on the radio or through direct mail and may promise to stop foreclosure immediately or reduce interest rates. Some companies are able to target vulnerable homeowners using public foreclosure notices. Homeowners afraid of the embarrassment of foreclosure buy into the scheme with the company's promises of a guaranteed refund.
Victims then pay an upfront fee, typically in installment, of several hundred dollars before realizing that little or no progress has been made on the loan. When attempting to contact the company, calls go unanswered and homeowners can be in worse shape than they started out.