Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
|May 16, 2007
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
McCollum Sues Company Victimizing Seniors
~ Company failed to pay for contracted services~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – A Pennsylvania-based company selling “insurance-like” products to seniors in Florida is the target of a lawsuit filed today by Attorney General Bill McCollum. The company, Homeward Bound Services of North America, Inc., sells policies intended to pay for a specified number of hours contracted for personal home services to seniors. According to the lawsuit, Homeward Bound subcontracts to local providers but then routinely fails to pay them for the services provided to consumers.
“Senior citizens often need assistance with the basic activities of everyday living. By taking money from seniors to provide services and then routinely failing to pay providers, this company is deceiving and defrauding consumers,” said Attorney General McCollum.
An investigation by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division revealed that Homeward Bound targets senior citizens, selling policies for personal care services. The policies are intended to pay for a specified number of hours contracted for basic care services which may include meal preparation, bathing, laundry, house cleaning, etc. The company has been selling policies in Florida since 2004 and has routinely failed to pay for the promised services, often leaving a heavy financial burden on its elderly customers and depriving them of the much needed services. Additionally, Homeward Bound requires full payment of the policy followed by a required six- to 12-month waiting period before any services can be rendered.
The company was originally investigated by the Florida Department of Financial Services for selling a discount medical plan. However, Homeward Bound changed its contract, thus avoiding regulation under the insurance code. The Economic Crimes Division launched its investigation into the company in March after receiving complaints from several health care providers and senior citizens. The lawsuit also names Marc Orth and Thomas Muldoon, two of Homeward Bound’s principals.
A copy of the lawsuit is available here.