Timothy Buckley, owner of Foreclosure Solutions, a foreclosure rescue scam company operating out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been shut down and now owes more than $300,000 in damages and civil penalties. The default judgment issued out of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court demands that Buckley and Foreclosure Soultions pay $225,000 in civil penalties and $79,565 in restitution for scamming Ohioans facing foreclosure.
From January 2003 through May 2008, Foreclosure Solutions solicited Ohioans who were going through foreclosure via direct mail and offered services to save their homes. The company then arranged in-person meetings and entered into written agreements with the promise to act as an agent to stop the foreclosure. After charging amounts ranging from $750-$1,300 the company never provided the services promised and some Ohioans lost their homes.
“This is a textbook example of how these predators operate,” said Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. “They identify people who are in a vulnerable situation, persuade and manipulate them, and then take their money and run. It’s predatory and atrocious. We will not stand for it.“
Also, in an unprecedented move, Cordray issued 10 cease and desist demands with accompanying subpoenas to businesses suspected of operating rescue scams in Ohio. The cease and desists demand that the companies halt all predatory practices, and the subpoenas require information to substantiate current practices. The sweep is the first in a widespread investigation into rescue operations targeting Ohio.
“This is a strong, preventative measure to keep foreclosure rescue scammers out of Ohio,” said Cordray. “It is a warning shot announcing that we have no tolerance for these predatory practices in our state.“
Cordray reminds Ohioans to remain vigilant and know their rights. He outlines the following tips on how to avoid foreclosure rescue scams:
- Only make payments to your lender or servicer.
- Be careful signing over your deed. Unless you are signing over your house, you should not sign over your deed.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office for complaints filed against the company.
- Get promises in writing.
- Do not give out personal information.
- Know what you are signing.
Those who fear that they are a victim in any consumer scam should contact Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s Office immediately at www.SpeakOutOhio.gov or (800) 282-0515.
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray made the announcement.