Foreclosure Fraud Victims To Receive More Than $67K In Relief

Written by emallers on September 2nd, 2015

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today that 29 victims of foreclosure-rescue fraud have started receiving payments from the state’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund (CPAF).

Zoeller, whose office administers the fund, said these individuals will receive more than $67,200 in total payments with each person receiving an amount equal to their loss, up to the statutory cap of $3,000. Victims are from Hamilton, Marion, Allen, Fountain, St. Joseph, Henry, Grant, Lake, Dearborn and Adams counties.

Foreclosure-rescue fraud targets homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments or are already in foreclosure. Foreclosure consultants charge customers large upfront fees in exchange for assistance in reducing monthly payments or stopping foreclosure. Most often, desperate homeowners pay the fees and don’t receive the promised services or a refund.

Zoeller said Hoosiers currently receiving relief are victims of several different foreclosure assistance scammers, including one of the worst offenders the Office has seen in recent years – Daniel Shrader. Shrader worked as an agent for at least 11 foreclosure-rescue companies and scammed victims in the Indianapolis area into making payments as large as $20,000. The AG’s Office obtained a default judgement against him in May 2014 in which he was ordered to pay victims a total $117,500, but he has failed to do so. Now, Zoeller said, the ten victims involved in this case will see some relief.  The AG’s Office will continue to pursue recovery efforts in the Shrader case, which, if received, will be deposited into the CPAF.

“Foreclosure-relief scammers prey on struggling and vulnerable homeowners who are ready to take desperate actions to keep their homes, including paying exorbitant fees to those who claim they can help,” Zoeller said. “Unfortunately, cases against these scam artists often end in default judgement, like the case against Daniel Shrader, and victims rarely get their money back. The CPAF fund is a way for victims to recover some or all of their losses.”

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation creating the CPAF in 2011 to help victims of foreclosure-relief fraud. The funds originate from monies recovered from companies sued by the Attorney General for violating consumer protection laws.

Zoeller thanked the legislators who created this fund and who have continued to help homeowners in Indiana.

“Creating this fund was not only common sense but the right thing to do to help Hoosiers affected by these scams,” said State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland), who was an original author of the CPAF legislation. “I am pleased to see that the Attorney General has been able to help so many people with the CPAF. I want to thank him for his dedication to bringing relief to those going through this difficult time.”

Since the program began, the AG’s Office has paid out $1.2 million to Hoosier victims through the fund.

Zoeller said foreclosure-relief fraud seems to be reducing, likely because of continued public awareness of these scams and a rebounding economy. In 2012 and 2013, the Attorney General’s Office filed 90 legal actions related to foreclosure-relief fraud. In 2014 and 2015, 11 actions have been filed.

However, many Hoosiers remain at-risk for foreclosure. According to recent statistics, Indiana is among the top ten states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Zoeller said homeowners who are facing foreclosure should contact the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) at 1-877-GET-HOPE for free foreclosure prevention counseling. Struggling homeowners may qualify to receive mortgage payment assistance from the Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund.

This state program offers foreclosure assistance at no charge. Zoeller said homeowners should be aware of scam artists who ask for a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.

If you believe you are a victim of foreclosure-relief fraud, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or by calling 800-382-5516.


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