Ohio AG Alleges 5 Loan Modification Companies Scammed Ohioans
Five loan modification companies, Green Tree Financial Group, Save Point Financial, Rescue Firm, Hardship Solutions, and Loan Retention Firm were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, the operators of a California-based loan modification scheme, took thousands of dollars from Ohioans while falsely promising to help them avoid foreclosure. These loan modification companies are accused of violating Ohio’s consumer protection laws. The lawsuit also seeks restitution for consumers, an end to any violations of state law, and civil penalties.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office asserts that it is aware of at least 18 Ohio consumers who lost money to these loan modification companies with an average reported loss was more than $2,000.
Attorney General DeWine said in a press release, “These operators took thousands of dollars from consumers and gave them nothing in return. They also used multiple business names, which made it harder for consumers to detect the scheme. We won’t tolerate those who take advantage of Ohio families, and we warn consumers not to trust anyone who demands thousands of dollars up front for help avoiding foreclosure.”
According to an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the loan modification companies advertised online and by phone offering to help consumers obtain loan modifications to avoid foreclosure. The loan modification companies took advance payments of $995 to $5,495 but failed to obtain loan modifications and failed to provide refunds. In some instances, the loan modification companies allegedly claimed they could help consumers obtain federal grants to help with their mortgage payments, but they failed to obtain the grants. In other instances, loan modification companies told consumers their mortgage loans had been modified when they had not. Consumers sometimes were left in a worse financial position after doing business with the loan modification companies. The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, accuses Mehdi Moarefian and Serj Geutssoyan (operators of the loan modification companies) of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Debt Adjuster’s Act. Ohio Consumers who suspect an unfair business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office atwww.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.