A suit filed in Ohio has just been recently remove to Federal Court. The suit is Theodore Mangosh and Linda Mangosh v. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, Thomas Macey, Jeffrey Aleman, Jeffrey Hyslip, Jason Searns, JEM Group, Joanne Garneau, and Arthur Garneau.
The suit states, “Among the most recent conspiracies, this action arises for a coordinated scheme devised by Defendants with the express intent of duping creditors and consumers into believing that the law from, Defendant LHDR was providing debt settlement services when, in fact, non-attorney employees of Defendant JEM Group performed such “legal” services.
LHDR is in the business of lending its name to debt settlement and credit repair businesses, including Defendant JEM Group, to create a fiction that the services are being performed by attorneys, thereby evading consumer protections applicable to such services, including fee limitations.”
It also says that the consumers believed they were hiring a law firm to represent them but it turned out differently. “Plaintiffs have virtually no contact with LHDR throughout the entire process, but believe they are contracting with LHDR. Even the contract Plaintiffs enter into with LHDR has all contact information leading back to JEM Group. In short, JEM Group was the entity designed to perform the debt settlement services from the initial communication with Plaintiffs all the while leading them to believe LHDR would be performing the services.”
The suit states the clients were sued after enrolling in the LHDR debt settlement program. “Plaintiffs were sued on four of their accounts enrolled in the program in the Painesville Municipal Court. Defendants representative “Tanya Tarasiewicz” gave Mangosh detailed instructions to submit all of the paperwork to LHDR. Mangosh was constantly reassured that “everything would be taken care of” and that “everything was going as planned.”
The issue of the complicated retainer or enrollment documents people once signed arose as well. “In an effort to limit Defendants’ liability, Plaintiffs must go through a large series of disclosures prior to being accepted as a client. Plaintiffs are directed to respond affirmatively that they understand each disclosure in order to streamline the process. In the even the Plaintiffs do not understand any of the disclosures, they are instructed to wait until completed, so they do not have to start all over again.”
A claim is raised that the services violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and Debt Adjustment Companies Act.
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