By Mark Anderson
Dolan Media Newswires
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Commerce on Wednesday charged Eden Prairie-based Modify My Loan US LLC and its principals with allegedly defrauding about 200 homeowners through its loan modification business.
The department said the company started its Minnesota operations without a license, used false advertising, failed to disclose to customers its precarious financial condition, charged customers for services that were not provided and failed to make promised refunds.
The allegations claim that Modify My Loan US charged many of its customers advance fees of up to $2,950, even though it had promised no upfront fees would be charged. The department said that customers paid a collective $363,203 in fees.
Customers also were unable to get up-to-date information about the status of loan modification negotiations and were not able to obtain refunds promised in their contracts, according to the department’s charges.
The principals named in the department’s filing were Richard Steele, 9350 Collegeview Road in Minneapolis; Mark Abdel, 1750 Skater Circle, Eagan; and Maria and Philip Domek , 6709 Markwood Drive N. in Crystal.
A prehearing conference on the charges is scheduled on Oct. 5 before Administrative Law Judge Manuel J. Cervantes in St. Paul.