Ohio loan modifier caught trying to ply trade in neighboring state

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An Ohio-based loan modification service disciplined in its home state a year ago now faces similar allegations from neighboring Indiana that it promised more than it delivered to save troubled homeowners from foreclosure.

The lawsuit filed against Foreclosure Assistance USA by the Indiana Attorney General alleges 600 Indiana residents signed contracts with the company. FA USA sent direct mail offers with specific foreclosure case information, claiming it could offer immediate assistance, the attorney general's office said.

In addition to deceptive practices, the suit claims the company further violated Indiana law by not providing a $25,000 surety bond -- a sum of money given to a third party to back up a transaction if it falls through -- to protect consumers for money-up-front services. A new law will go into effect July 1 requiring all foreclosure assistance operators to have a $25,000 surety bond on file with the state.

An attempt to reach FA USA at the number listed on their Better Business Bureau reliability report found the line disconnected.

In a similar case, the Federal Trade Commission placed a restraining order on New Jersey-based New Hope Property for collecting money on services not provided. The case found them owing $11.45 million in civil settlements to the state.

The FTC is cracking down on companies trying to take advantage of distressed homeowners by adding new defendants to its case against mortgage relief scammers.

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