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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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Defendants engaged in debt adjusting by offering to obtain loan modifications for consumers facing foreclosure on their mortgages. It is an unfair and deceptive act or practice in violation of the CSPA to: 1) accept money from consumers for services and then permit eight weeks to elapse without delivering the services, or making a full refund, or advising the consumer of the duration of an extended delay and offering a refund, or furnishing similar services of equal or greater value; 2) fail to clearly and conspicuously disclose the fact that initial fees paid by consumers are non-refundable; 3) require consumers to sign an "Indemnification Hold Harmless Agreement" which effectively requires consumers to waive their rights to the statutory remedies provided by the CSPA; 4) make false or misleading statements in connection with a consumer transaction. It is a violation of the Debt Adjuster Act and the CSPA for a supplier to: 1) engage in debt adjusting services while charging consumers more that $75.00 for the initial set-up of foreclosure mediation services and charging fees of more that $100.00 per calendar year, 2) engage in debt adjusting services while failing to file the results of an annual audit with the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General's office, 3) engage in debt adjusting services while failing to maintain insurance coverage. Defendants to pay $16,000 in consumer restitution, $25,000 in civil penalties (suspended), and $5,500 in attorney fees and costs.
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| © 2009 Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray