Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ohio AG Files Civil Suit Targeting California-Based Loan Modification Racket That Held Itself Out As Law Firm Using "Legal Aid Services" Moniker For Allegedly Using False Promises To Fleece Homeowners Seeking Mortgage Help

From the Dayton [Ohio] Business Journal:
  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine [] announced a lawsuit against a California company accused of failing to deliver promised mortgage loan modification services to Ohio consumers.

    The lawsuit accuses Legal Aid Services Inc., last operating in California, of violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Debt Adjuster's Act.

    "Consumers paid this company thousands of dollars thinking they would receive assistance from a professional law firm," DeWine said. "Instead, they received no meaningful help and were left in a worse financial position."

    According to the lawsuit, Legal Aid Services Inc. promised mortgage loan modification services, including interest rate reductions, to Ohio consumers and represented itself as a law firm, even though it did not employ attorneys who were licensed in Ohio.

    Three Ohio consumers filed complaints saying they paid Legal Aid Services Inc. more than $3,000 each but the company failed to provide the promised services or to return the money.

    The Attorney General's lawsuit, filed yesterday in the Delaware County Common Pleas Court, seeks damages for affected consumers, civil penalties, and an end to any violations of Ohio consumer protection laws from the business and its owner, Floyd George Belsito.

    Consumers who want help modifying their mortgage loan or avoiding foreclosure should not trust companies that charge upfront fees before providing any services.

    Consumers who suspect unfair business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at or 800-282-0515.

    A copy of the lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

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