Washington state regulators have filed charges against 32 businesses accused of taking advantage of struggling homeowners. Thirty-one of the enforcement actions filed April 9 are against businesses located outside of Washington; about half of the actions are against attorneys or those affiliated with attorneys. Consumers who hire loan modification services are usually vulnerable due to fear and financial distress. Unable to pay their mortgages and afraid of foreclosure, they present an easy target for shady companies that may collect thousands of dollars in fees and deliver no benefits in return. Consumers who pay for mortgage modifications often still lose their home in foreclosure. Since 2009, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has received more than 800 complaints against unlicensed businesses offering loan modification services in the state. Consumers should check the licensing status of companies offering home loan modification services with the department and check the licensing status of attorneys offering those services with the Washington State Bar Association.