TOLEDO, OH (FOX19) - Ohio's attorney general is accusing a Toledo company of taking advantage of people who are worried about losing their homes. Making Home Affordable USA and its owner Jason Keating of Maumee violated Ohio's consumer laws, Attorney General Mike DeWine says, and he's suing them.
DeWine says the firm would tell customers to stop making their mortgage payments even if they were current on their payments. Then, he says, consumers would give a big chunk of their usual mortgage payment to Making Home Affordable USA after being told it would be held in escrow and submitted to lenders once a home loan modification was approved. But DeWine says the money was never sent.
Thirty consumers who say they've lost a total of about $75,000 have filed complaints with DeWine's office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.
The Toledo company, located at 120 10th Street, should not be confused with the federal government's Making Home Affordable program.
Attorney General DeWine offers these tips if money is tight and you're thinking of contacting a company that promises help in hanging onto your home:
- Call or e-mail "Save the Dream Ohio" first. The program offers free foreclosure assistance. Its phone number is (888) 404-4674. It's on the web at: www.savethedream.ohio.gov.
- Don't pay any upfront fees. By law, these companies are not allowed to even accept any money from you until you've accepted a loan modification offer from your lender.