Thursday, March 24, 2016

Indiana Real Estate Scam Victims To Get Limited Compensation For Losses From State Consumer Ripoff Reimbursement Fund

From the Office of the Indiana Attorney General:
  • Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced [] that 29 victims of real estate scams and foreclosure-relief fraud are receiving payments from the state’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund (CPAF).

    This week, March 6-12, is National Consumer Protection Week.

    Zoeller, whose office administers the fund, said these victims will receive more than $70,000 in total payments with each person receiving an amount equal to their loss up to the statutory cap of $3,000. Victims are from Elkhart, Hancock, Lake, LaPorte, Marion, Monroe, Scott and St. Joseph counties.

    “When lawsuits against scam artists end in default judgement, it is very difficult to recover victims’ losses,” Zoeller said. “The CPAF helps direct money my office does receive for violations of Indiana’s consumer protection laws, to assist victims who’ve been left in the lurch. Real estate and foreclosure scams can be particularly devastating because they often involve large amounts of money, and the victims tend to already be in a tough financial spot.”

    Zoeller said Hoosiers currently receiving relief are victims of several different scams targeting property owners. More than half of the CPAF recipients are victims of an Indianapolis-area real estate scheme perpetrated by TMJ Foundations, Inc., in which the company sold properties it did not own, leaving victims out thousands of dollars and no claim to the properties they thought they purchased.

    The AG’s Office filed a lawsuit against this company in June 2014 and subsequently received a default judgment, in which the company was ordered to pay victims $96K in restitution, but it never did.

    Now, Zoeller said, the 16 victims involved in this case will see some relief. The AG’s Office will continue to pursue recovery efforts in the TMJ Foundations case, which, if received, will be deposited into the CPAF.

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