Lawsuit Filed Against Alleged Foreclosure Rescuers

Allison Tussey —  November 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

Ryan Zimmerman, previously of Culver City, California, Consumer Advocates Group Experts, LLC, and Advocates for Consumer Affairs Experts, LLC, are the subjects of a civil lawsuit for violations of Ohio’s consumer laws, including failure to deliver and failure to provide refunds for home loan modification assistance. The complaint seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.  

Zimmerman operates Consumer Advocates Group Experts and Advocates for Consumer Affairs Experts. Through online advertising and telephone and mail solicitations, the businesses offered to help consumers avoid foreclosure by working with the consumers’ lenders to negotiate a loan modification or otherwise adjust their debt. After accepting the payments, the businesses did little or no work to help consumers. The businesses also failed to provide refunds.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Sentinel have received approximately 150 consumer complaints nationwide against the businesses. In their complaints, consumers state they paid up-front fees for the loan modifications ranging from $1,875 to $2,700.

The Ohio Attorney General’s lawsuit charges the defendants with multiple violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act, including failure to deliver and failure to provide refunds. Additionally, it charges the defendants with violating the Debt Adjusters Act and the Telephone Solicitation Sales Act.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the lawsuit.

DeWine offers the following advice to consumers who are worried about foreclosure:

• Do not pay up-front fees for help avoiding foreclosure or obtaining mortgage relief. By law, companies may not charge or accept fees for mortgage assistance relief services until consumers receive and accept a loan modification offer from their lenders.

• Research a business before providing any payments or personal information. Check to see if consumers have filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and check a company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau.

• Contact Save the Dream Ohio for free foreclosure assistance. Call 888-404-4674 or visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.

“In these difficult economic times, it is reprehensible for a company to target struggling consumers, take their money, and provide no assistance,” DeWine said. “My office won’t stand by and allow companies like these to prey on vulnerable Ohioans by promising help and delivering nothing.”

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Allison Tussey

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One response to Lawsuit Filed Against Alleged Foreclosure Rescuers

  1. I had house in Bucktown area, however the its value dropped around 40 % last three
    years and in addition my husband lost his job so we decided to short sale this house and to move into an apartment.
    In November 2011I went the office of IKON located on Webster and Damen in Chicago
    seeking help to do the short sale on my house.

    Mr. Ivan Diaz and one of his assistant were very nice to me and to the other clients and they
    offered to everybody coffee, chocolates and donuts, but later on I found out that it was
    just a game to scam everybody.
    I noticed that the clients were believing him and they were paying him around $3000 to $5000 up front
    just to do the short sale and to restore the credit as they promised.

    I paid $4000 for my foreclosure defense and I gave him my keys.
    They promised me to find a buyer fast and to convince the buyer to cover some of my expenses
    of last year remodeled bathrooms and kitchen in that house.

    Also I have recommended (unfortunately) one of my girlfriends to him.
    She also had same problem with her house and she also gave him her keys and paid him a $4000 fee up front a few days later.

    We moved to apartments on north side, and we were calling IKON once a week to find out what is going on…..
    So far we did not feel the disaster was about to start….

    After 4 months of waiting my husband and me started looking to buy another house (he had a good credit so far).

    Apparently we found a house purchased on auction by the same IKON Development Company.
    What’s the coincidence….

    We did not have enough cash to go to auction directly ,but with IKON everything seemed to be a good deal. They were looking for a buyer to short sale our house,
    they promised to restore my credit and in addition the potential buyer will have to cover some of our expenses on this house……But unfortunately it did not work like that……

    I was tired already of dealing with this IKON so my husband was dealing with them. This house was very trashed out….somebody took everything from kitchen and bathrooms, even pipes were removed from the walls.
    But as the Manager of IKON told us not to worry about that, because actually he could get a better price on auction because of bad condition of the house.

    He promised to help with the loan and to fix the house right away while processing the loan.
    My husband said the he needs to see the house remodeled first before he buys it.
    Around one month later he went there to see the house that he was about to buy and he noticed that
    actually the kitchen appliances, kitchen cabinets are not new….they were used and taken from our old house…..he recognized them by some scratches done by our kids in our old house….
    My husband saw that but he did not say anything …..
    Since I still were on the title of the old house went there with a locksmith ( IKON put their own locks) and we got in and we noticed …that’s right …..all our cabinets from kitchen and baths have been removed….which means they were trying to sell us our own cabinets…..
    Later on we have called my old lender to find out what is happening with the short sale…..
    We found out that basically IKON has not done anything besides misinforming the bank that our building was abandoned and trashed out and they actually are trying to foreclose it fast to buy it on auction…..

    I talked to my girlfriend and she got into her old house the same way…. and same story happened to her..what’s the coincidence…..

    She is so mad and she does not want to talk to me anymore….That way thanks to IKON Development
    I lost my friend, my house and my money( with an attorney I could stay in my house up to 3 years without paying mortgage but by IKON’s advice unfortunately I moved out)….

    I want to aware anyone not to deal with these dishonest people…..who lie to anybody and steal from anybody with no hesitation…

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