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[ATG] AG Zoeller: Chase settlement funds will support foreclosure prevention assistance, debt counseling to struggling Hoosiers
Start Date: 1/21/2016Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/21/2016
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced that Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (ILS) will receive a grant to support its foreclosure prevention services and debt counseling programs that the nonprofit offers free to struggling Indiana residents in all 92 counties.

The $300,000 grant is paid for with funds received by the Attorney General’s Office and reserved for consumer protection efforts as part of a multi-state settlement with Chase Bank over alleged unlawful debt collection practices.

Part of this grant will go toward supporting internships that ILS offers to law students at the IU Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, giving prospective lawyers experience in this important consumer protection work while also providing critical assistance to low-income Indiana residents.

Additionally, the grant will enable ILS to expand its Consumer Advocacy Project currently run out of the John Boner Center in Indianapolis, which aims to identify and reduce financial exploitation and abuse in Indianapolis’ poorest neighborhoods.

“Indiana Legal Services provides desperately needed assistance to thousands of Hoosiers each year who are struggling to stay afloat, buried in debt or being targeted by scam artists looking to prey off of their vulnerable situation,” Zoeller said. “Indiana Legal Services is a critical community partner, and I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to involve law students in this meaningful work.”

Zoeller said when people can’t afford legal help, they often turn to unscrupulous businesses that claim to offer foreclosure prevention services but are really just out to make a buck. He said homeowners should be on guard against scam artists who ask for a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.

Since Jan.1, 2014, the Homeowner Protection Unit of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General has received 50 complaints concerning foreclosure consulting fraud, and engaged in the litigation of about 30 cases.

The grant money being offered to ILS will specifically support foreclosure prevention staff at the ILS offices in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Evansville. ILS helps struggling homeowners primarily by representing them at settlement conferences with their mortgage lender in attempt to negotiate lower monthly payments or other strategies that can help the individual keep their home.

ILS prevented 110 foreclosures in 2014 and 118 in 2015.

“ILS works to provide a full-range of legal services to those across Indiana who struggle financially and need this help the most,” said Jon Laramore, executive director of ILS. “Expanding our reach and focusing this grant on some of our most crucial services will make a real difference in the lives of these individuals and support stronger communities.”

Several students from Indiana Tech Law School will be assisting this semester with these foreclosure prevention services at the ILS office in Fort Wayne.

“At Indiana Tech, one of our goals is to give students real-world, applicable experience that will advance and help define their career track,” Indiana Tech Law School Dean Charles Cercone said. “Working with Indiana Legal Services will accomplish this goal while also bettering our Fort Wayne community.”

ILS will also use the grant money to bolster their debt counseling programs at the ILS offices in Evansville, Indianapolis and New Albany. Debt counseling services often include ensuring that individuals are not being abused by debt collectors in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well assisting individuals who are juggling multiple debts.

The AG’s Office received more than 540 complaints about debt collectors in 2015.

Homeowners who are facing foreclosure can contact Indiana Legal Services for assistance. They can also contact the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) at 1-877-GET-HOPE to see if they qualify to receive mortgage payment assistance from Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund.

If you believe you are a victim of foreclosure-relief fraud, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at or by calling 800-382-5516. 
Contact Information:
Name: Molly Gillaspie
Phone: 317.232.0168
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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