On November 4, 2016, the Ohio Attorney General’s office (AG) announced it filed a complaint against a California-based mortgage-relief services provider and its director (Defendants) alleging violations of Ohio’s consumer protection laws. The complaint alleges that the provider sent advertisements to Ohio residents stating that the company has helped consumers to “receive payment relief, have foreclosure proceedings stopped, eliminate 2nd mortgages” and receive “relief from monetary damages.” In order to receive their services, consumers allegedly would sign a contract and pay Defendants a fee ranging from $1,745 to $3,900.
In exchange for the fee, Defendants allegedly told consumers they would first file complaints on their behalf “with regulatory agencies that govern the rules, regulations and conduct of your lender,” and then would help the consumers restructure their loans. After receiving complaints that Defendants did not provide the services advertised, the AG filed the complaint, alleging violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. The Ohio Attorney general seeks its costs in bringing the action, an injunction, a declaratory judgment against Defendants, a fine of $25,000, restitution to consumers, and an order requiring the company to maintain all business records for an additional five years.