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[ATG] Zoeller files lawsuit against illegal foreclosure consultant
Start Date: 12/12/2013 All Day
End Date: 12/12/2013
Entry Description

CROWN POINT, Ind. – A Lake County homeowner sought a home-loan modification through a New Jersey based foreclosure consultant, but wound up losing thousands in upfront fees.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller visited Crown Point today to file a lawsuit against Liberty Credit Law and its owner Bruce Bronson. According to the complaint, Liberty Credit Law illegally contracted with at least two Indiana homeowners to perform home-loan modifications and then required upfront payments.

The Lake County victim paid $2,630 and a Jasper County victim paid $3,099, and neither received the promised services or refunds. According to the lawsuit, both victims said they learned about the company’s services through radio advertisements.

“This case is particularly egregious in that Liberty Credit Law collected high upfront fees from both homeowners in violation of our consumer protection statutes," Zoeller said. “Unfortunately, desperate homeowners are enticed by promises of lower monthly payments or a guaranteed refund by those claiming to be foreclosure consultants. In reality, these companies aren’t providing any service that the homeowner can’t do themselves by reaching out to their mortgage servicer.”

In the Jasper County case, the company allegedly took power of attorney in order to negotiate with the bank on the homeowner’s behalf. Except to inspect documents as provided by law, foreclosure consultants are generally prohibited from taking power of attorney from a homeowner for any purpose.

Liberty Credit Law failed to register a $25,000 surety bond with the Indiana Attorney General’s office. These bonds are required before services can be performed, including collecting money up front.

According to the lawsuit, the company violated the Credit Services Organization Act, the Mortgage Rescue Protection Act, the Home Loan Practices Act and Indiana’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. Zoeller seeks an injunction against the company, restitution for the victims, civil penalties and investigative costs.

Zoeller said default judgments against these types of companies do not often result in the victims receiving any restitution. In order to help those who reported these types of violators to the state, the 2011 Indiana General Assembly created the Consumer Protection Assistance Fund (CPAF). The monies originate from funds recovered from companies sued by the Attorney General’s office for violating consumer protection laws. Zoeller said $36,540 from the CPAF will soon be distributed to 17 victims from across the state including three consumers from Lake County. In total, Lake County victims will receive $8,175 from the fund.

Distressed homeowners at risk of foreclosure need not pay a large fee to a for-profit company, when advice on avoiding foreclosure is available for free from the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network at 1.877.GET.HOPE. Hoosiers who believe they have been a victim in a foreclosure consultant scam can file a complaint by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1.866.382.5516.

Zoeller thanked Deputy Attorney General Laura Turner for her work on the case and her dedication to the Homeowner Protection Unit.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: erin.reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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