Clearwater Company sued for Deceptive ‘Foreclosure Consulting Services’ – Florida Attorney General

TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today sued a Clearwater business, alleging it engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by charging for “foreclosure consulting services” but failing to provide the assistance promised. According to the lawsuit, Law & Associates, LLC claimed it could help homeowners who were facing foreclosure and charged an up-front cash fee of approximately $1,500 to $2,000. Consumers reported to the Attorney General’s Office that the company not only failed to provide promised services but also refused to refund the fee despite an advertised money-back guarantee.

“More citizens in Florida are facing the very real possibility of losing their homes to foreclosure than anywhere else in the country,” said Attorney General McCollum. “My office will continue working to ensure that businesses who offer assistance to these people are held accountable to the law.”

Law & Associates sends direct mailers to individual homeowners who are facing foreclosure. The mailers allegedly tell the homeowners they must call the company within 72 hours to see if they are eligible for a plan to stop the foreclosure process. The company also advertises online, allegedly promising to stop the foreclosure process and providing a money-back guarantee if they do not achieve a “viable strategy” with the lender to stop the foreclosure.

When homeowners contact Law & Associates, they are allegedly told they qualify for a plan to stop foreclosure but must pay the hefty cash fee for Law & Associates to take their case. Once a homeowner pays the fee, he or she purportedly receives a written contract from Law and Associates that contains numerous terms and conditions not previously disclosed to the customer. According to the lawsuit, most of those terms and conditions are designed to prevent a homeowner from being entitled to a refund if Law & Associates is not successful in stopping the foreclosure. The Attorney General’s office has received more than 65 complaints from consumers about Law & Associates.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges six counts against Law & Associates and Thomas E. Law, II for violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Attorney General is seeking penalties of $10,000 per violation and reimbursements for consumers who paid the fees.
The lawsuit also asks the Court to require the company to cease its operations.

Consumers who wish to report a complaint against the company or who would like more information may contact the Attorney General’s fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226 or may file a complaint online at http://myfloridalegal.com. More information and tips for avoiding foreclosure are online at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/55BC21CB13128F728525741800481491.

A copy of the lawsuit filed is available online at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-7DCR73/$file/LawandAssociatesComplaint.pdf.

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