Lakeshore News Tonight

Attorney General Targets Local Foreclosure Fraud

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December 12, 2013 — The state’s top attorney was in Crown Point today to take legal action against an organization that his office says preys on homeowners.

He’s telling residents what they need to know to prevent the headache of being hustled. He’s warning locals after a Lake County homeowner paid more than $2,500 to modify their home loan – only to be duped.

“These are people that are struggling to keep up with their mortgage, so, they probably paid money that they would’ve otherwise paid their mortgage with,” Zoeller says. “So, they not only lose the opportunity to get a better deal, they’ve paid money that probably puts them behind on their mortgage.”

Zoeller made his way to Crown Point today to file a lawsuit with the clerk of the lake circuit court against New-Jersey based, liberty credit law and its owner, Bruce Bronson.

The lawsuit alleges Bronson violated four consumer protection statues, including asking for upfront payments.

“At least, I have somebody to go after so, in this case, I hope it will be successful in returning the money. Often times, people get scammed and there’s little we can do to return the money.”

Zoeller urges homeowners in need of help to take heed: don’t pay a fee to a for-profit company.

The Indiana attorney general says legitimate help for homeowners facing foreclosure is right at your fingertips. Simply log on to the Department of Housing and Urban Development at Hud.Gov. Or, look for the HUD-approved logo.”

Warren Callahan is executive director of consumer credit counseling services of northwest Indiana, a HUD-approved non-profit.

“We provide quality services to those individuals at no cost, so, just do the math: Zero versus $6,000 dollars and you still get the same quality result,” Callahan says.

He says foreclosure is a growing problem for Northwest Indiana residents, and the numbers confirm his concern. According to RealtyTrac.com, one in every 446 homeowners will face foreclosure.

“There’s hope,” Callahan says. “Don’t just take no for an answer,” There’s many workout options that are afforded to clients. And if you’re really working for the right type of organization, they’re going to look at all the various workout options that are available to the client.”

He says having financial literacy is key so those in danger of foreclosure will not become victims of fraud.

By Hilary Powell

 

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