Prevent Loan Scams
In Your State

Ohio

 


Help for Distressed Homeowners 

 

The following is a list of legal service providers throughout Ohio that assist homeowners with foreclosure/loan modification needs and/or mortgage scams. 

Statewide

Save the Dream

Assistance:     Foreclosure and Loan Scams
Location: Statewide
Website: http://www.com.ohio.gov/savethedream/
Phone: (888) 404-4674
Services:

The Save the Dream foreclosure effort in Ohio is uniquely structured to include both governmental and private sector partners and is a major resource for information on predatory lending, foreclosure rescue scams prevention, and the foreclosure process. Additionally, Save the Dream coordinates the Ohio State Bar's efforts to provide legal pro-bono representation to homeowners who are facing foreclosure. The website includes contact information for housing counselors and legal services providers, a link to the state court system's foreclosure mediation program, and information for the public on the extent of the crisis. Homeowners facing foreclosure can call the hotline (888-404-4674) to see if they meet the income and other eligibility requirements to be connected with a pro bono or legal aid attorney. Qualified homeowners will be connected with a local legal aid program to be matched with an attorney. Basic income eligibility is 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $54,000 annual income for a family of four.

Supreme Court of Ohio

Assistance:     Foreclosure Mediation
Location: Statewide
Website: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/jcs/disputeresolution/foreclosure/default.asp
Phone: (614) 387-9000
Services:

The Supreme Court of Ohio has developed a judicial foreclosure mediation program.

 

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Central Ohio

Legal Aid Society of Columbus

Assistance:  Foreclosure
Location: Columbus and Marion
Website: http://www.columbuslegalaid.org
Phone: Columbus (888) 246-4420 and Marion (740) 383-2162
Services:

The organization is HUD-certified to represent clients in foreclosure cases. It serves the following counties: Franklin, Delaware, Madison, Marion, Morrow, and Union.

Ohio State Legal Services Association

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Columbus
Website: http://www.oslsa.org
Phone: (800) 589-5888
Services:

The Ohio State Legal Services Association provides assistance to individuals in Adams, Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Madison, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, and Washington Counties.

 

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Central Northeast Ohio

Community Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Akron
Website: http://www.communitylegalaid.org
Phone: (800) 998-9454
Services:

It serves the following counties: Columbiana, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne. Call the hotline Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.

 

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Northeast Ohio

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Cleveland, Elyria, Jefferson
Website: http://www.lasclev.org
Phone:

Cleveland (888) 817-3777; Elyria (800) 444-7348; and Jefferson (866) 873-9665

Services:

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is a member of the state-wide Save the Dream Initiative. It serves the following counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain.

 

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Northwest Ohio

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Dayton and Toledo
Website: http://www.ablelaw.org
Phone: Main (888) 534-1432; Lucas County (419) 724-0460
Services:

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality serves the following counties: Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot. 

 

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Southeast Ohio

Southeastern Ohio Legal Services

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Athens, Chillicothe, Lancaster, Marietta, Newark, New Philadelphia, Portsmouth, Steubenville, and Zanesville
Website: http://www.seols.org
Phone: (800) 686-3669
Services:

Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) gives legal help without attorney fees to people with low incomes and limited savings and assets.

 

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Southwest Ohio

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Cincinnati
Website: http://www.lascinti.org
Phone: (800) 582-2682
Services:

The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati provides legal services to low-income residents of the following counties: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren.

 

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West Ohio

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Dayton and Toledo
Website: http://www.ablelaw.org
Phone: Main (888) 534-1432; Lucas County (419) 724-0460
Services:

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality serves the following counties: Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot. 

Legal Aid of Western Ohio

Assistance:     Foreclosure
Location: Dayton, Defiance, Fremont, Lima, Mansfield, Sandusky, Springfield, and Toledo
Website: http://www.lawolaw.org
Phone: Main (888) 534-1432; Lucas County (419) 724-0460
Services:

Legal Aid of Western Ohio serves the following counties: Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot. 

 

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Report A Scam


Attention homeowners:  If you think you have been a victim of a scam, or approached by a scammer, report it to the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network now!  Your complaint could provide vital information that will help put loan modification scammers out of business.  

Call 1-888-995-HOPE or click here to submit a complaint online. (With your permission, the complaint will automatically be shared with federal, state and local law enforcement)

How Do I Know if I Am a Victim of a Scam?

The easiest way to determine if you are a victim of a loan modification scam or have been approached by a potential scammer is just to ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. Did anyone offer to help modify your mortgage, either directly, through advertising, or by other means, such as a flyer?
  2. Were you guaranteed a loan modification or asked to do to any of the following: pay a fee, sign a contract, redirect mortgage payments, sign over title to your property, or stop making loan payments?

If the answer to either question is "yes," report the potential scam now by calling 1-888-995-HOPE or by filling out the simple online complaint form.

 

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Important Loan Modification Scam Rules and Laws

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

Important Federal Protections from Deceptive Foreclosure Rescue Practices

Click here for an overview of current rules and laws enforced by federal agencies nationwide against alleged scammers.

 If you think an individual or company has violated federal law, do two things: First, click on the ‘Report A Scam’ button to report the scam. Second, contact your Attorney General using the contact information provided below.

Important State Law Protections from Deceptive Foreclosure Rescue Practices

Ohio Law Regulates Residential Mortgage Originators and Broker (Ohio Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers Act (ORC §§ 1321.51 - 1321-600)).

Ohio's Mortgage Broker and Loan Officers Act covers certain companies and individuals who originate and broker residential mortgage loans in Ohio.  For the most important provisions of the law, click here.

Rules Governing Attorneys Providing Loan Modifications

Why are foreclosure consultants and attorneys teaming up to defraud homeowners experiencing mortgage-related distress? Individuals acting as "foreclosure consultants" are not entitled to receive payment until their loan modification work is completed. However, attorneys are permitted to accept advance fees for providing typical legal services. As a consequence, some foreclosure consultants and others offering foreclosure prevention services may partner with attorneys in an effort to get around laws that prohibit them from receiving payments from homeowners before providing the foreclosure prevention services. Homeowners should know that these partnering arrangements may violate the ethics rules governing attorneys' professional conduct in Ohio.  For some examples of attorney misconduct relating to foreclosure prevention services that are prohibited by the Ohio Bar, click here.

Secondary State Laws

The remedies referenced above are cumulative, and other statutory or common law remedies may also be available. There are additional state laws that may not address loan modification scams directly, but could be used for prosecuting or filing private lawsuits against alleged scammers. For more information on some of these additional state laws, click here.

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List of Alleged Scammers


Distressed homeowners and their allies should be aware that many individuals and companies have been known to continue improper operations even after having been caught. Please visit our Nation-wide Prosecutions Against Alleged Scammers page to view a list of alleged scammers in Ohio; the information found on that page is from publically available sources and is not exhaustive. Generally, homeowners seeking loan modification assistance are encouraged to work with HUD certified housing counselors, which can be found by going to http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. Homeowners may also call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline 1-888-995-4673 for free loan modification assistance.

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State and Local Law Enforcement


The following is a brief description of state and local law enforcement efforts underway in your state in the fight against loan modification scammers.  This information is not exhaustive and may change depending upon the resources and priorities of the state and local government official and agencies.

State Enforcement Efforts


Ohio Attorney General’s Office

The Attorney General's office has spearheaded enforcement efforts under Ohio's consumer protection laws.  The website provides: answers to frequently asked questions about foreclosures; how to spot a foreclosure rescue scam; how to avoid predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scams; how to file complaints against loan modification scammers; and information about past consumer complaints.

Resources:

Ohio Department of Commerce

Another branch of the state government, the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC), also provides resources for consumers who have been taken advantage of by foreclosure and loan modification scammers.  The DOC's Division of Financial Institutions registers and receives complaints against mortgage brokers and loan officers in Ohio.  The website provides: a mortgage broker enforcement actions database and a consumer complaint form for complaints against licensed mortgage brokers.

Resources:

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Additional Informational Resources


General Mortgage Fraud Resources (including Loan Modification Scams)


Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Homeowners can go to the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) website to research or file a complaint against a business.  Please note that a new business may not appear on the site.  There are branches of the BBB throughout Ohio.  To find the BBB nearest you, go to: http://www.bbb.org/us/find-a-bbb/.

Resources:      

Mortgage News Daily

Ohio Housing Financing Agency

The Mortgage Fraud Blog

Other National Resources

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The Foreclosure Crisis in Ohio

 

When the rest of the United States started to feel the brunt of the foreclosure crisis, Ohio's foreclosure filings continued to rise. In 2006, there were 79,072 foreclosure filings, 85,751 in 2007, and in 2008 113,570 properties were in some form of foreclosure. In 2009, RealtyTrac placed Ohio among the nation's 10 states with highest foreclosure rates. Foreclosures in Ohio tend to cluster in urban areas like Columbus and Cleveland. These neighborhoods experienced significant destabilization when these subprime borrowers lost their homes to foreclosure.

In October 2009, a detailed look at the recent trends revealed that the counties hardest hit in Ohio were Cuyahoga (1,879 foreclosures) Franklin (908), Montgomery (884) and Hamilton (845). The same report specified that one in every 330 housing units in Cuyahoga County received a foreclosure filing, the majority of them (1,275 or 1 in every 311 housing units) in Cleveland. In fact, Cuyahoga County has been recognized as a region with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, with Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor ranked 53rd among the nation's metropolitan areas, according to their foreclosure activity totals in the third quarter of 2009.  Other highly ranked areas in Ohio included Canton-Massillon and Toledo, which ranked 64th and 65th, respectively, Cincinnati-Middletown (OH-KY-IN) - 68th, Akron - 81st, Columbus - 82nd, and Dayton - 86th.  As in other states, foreclosures migrated from subprime borrowers to homeowners with "alt-A" and "no-doc loans."

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Disclaimer: This website is designed for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.  The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network does not warrant any information contained in this guide, nor does the Network suggest that the information in this website should be used as a basis to pursue legal advice or decision making. 

In Your State
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