Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against Diversified Real Estate Consultants LLC (DREC), a foreclosure rescue company based in Florida.
The suit, which also names affiliate companies, cites multiple violations of Ohio consumer laws, including that it offered mortgage assistance relief to consumers in the state even though it never registered to do business in Ohio.
"This company continually misled consumers," DeWine says. "It charged substantial upfront fees for services and results that it promised but never delivered. It also encouraged homeowners to default on their mortgage loans, falsely stating that defaulting on their loans would help them get a loan modification."
DREC charged and accepted fees of $500 to $3,495 from homeowners, promising them reduced monthly mortgage payments or better interest rates, and represented a "100% money-back guarantee."
Despite the claims, consumers received no help and no refunds, according to Dewine. The lawsuit charges the defendants with violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act, Debt Adjusters Act and Telephone Solicitation Sales Act. It seeks a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, civil penalties and full restitution for consumers.
The lawsuit names defendants DREAM Management USA (DREAM) and Precision Processing Solutions International LLC (PPSI) – Ohio companies that provided DREC research, analysis and documentation processing services, in direct connection with DREC's mortgage relief assistance services. The suit also names Daniel J. DePasquale, owner and operator of DREC, DREAM, and PPSI.
DeWine has filed 37 complaints against DREC dating back to 2009. Of those complaints, 18 are unresolved, including seven complaints from Ohio consumers. In the 18 unresolved complaints, consumers reported total losses of more than $36,000.