CROWN POINT | A complaint filed Thursday by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller alleges a Lake County homeowner lost thousands to a New Jersey-based foreclosure consultant.
Zoeller filed suit against Liberty Credit Law and its owner, Bruce Bonson, for allegedly legally contracting with two Indiana homeowners to perform home-loan modifications and then requiring upfront fees.
According to the suit, a Lake County homeowner paid $2,630 and a Jasper County victim paid $3,099 for which neither received services or refunds.
Both homeowners learned about the company's services through radio advertisements, according to the complaint.
The company is accused of collecting high upfront fees in violation of the state's consumer protection laws, Zoeller said in filing suit.
"Unfortunately, desperate homeowners are enticed by promises of lower monthly payments or a guaranteed refund by those claiming to be foreclosure consultants," he said. "In reality, these companies aren't providing any service that the homeowner can't do themselves by reaching out to their mortgage service."
Zoeller seeks an injunction against the company, restitution for the victims, civil penalties and investigative costs.
With default judgments against such companies often yielding no restitution, victims can recover funds through the Consumer Protection Assistance Fund, called CPAF, Zoeller said. In Lake County, three victims soon will receive $8,175 from the fund.
Advice on avoiding foreclosure is free from the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network at (877) GET-HOPE. Homeowners who believe they have been victimized by foreclosure consultants may file a complaint at www.IndianaConsumer.com or call (866) 382-5516.