Loan-modification firm sued

Ohio accuses Maumee man, Toledo company of swindling


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against a Maumee man and his loan modification business, which the state claims misleads and swindles consumers.

Mr. DeWine said in the complaint that NMMSR Inc., which does business at 120 10th St., Toledo, as Making Home Affordable USA, and its owner, Jason Keating, violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Telephone Solicitation Sales Act by failing to deliver promised services, encouraging consumers to default on mortgages, and failing to register as a telephone solicitor.

Specifically, the suit alleges the firm solicited by telephone consumers facing foreclosure and directed them to stop making payments and pay 60 percent to 65 percent of their payment to NMMSR, which would negotiate with their lender to modify their loan. The money was to have been held in escrow, then turned over to the lender, but actually was never forwarded to the lender, the suit states.

The attorney general’s office said about 30 consumers who have lost a total of $75,000 have filed complaints with its office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.

“Don’t trust a business that tells you to stop making your mortgage payments in order to get a modification,” Mr. DeWine said in a news release. “Not only is it bad advice — in Ohio it’s also illegal.”

The suit, which has been assigned to Judge Ruth Ann Franks, seeks restitution for affected consumers and asks the court to prohibit the business from continuing to engage in the illegal acts.