AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine business regulators have ordered 15 companies that promised but failed to help homeowners facing foreclosures to stop doing business in the state.

The companies, all based out of state, enticed consumers with radio, television and Internet ads promising to help them avoid foreclosure, but then took a collective $36,000 in advance fees and did not save a single home from foreclosure, Will Lund, superintendent of the Consumer Credit Protection Bureau, said Tuesday.

While many debt management companies comply with the law, the 15 companies “made false promises and then took money from desperate folks who could least afford to lose those funds,” Lund said.

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