BOISE, Idaho (AP) ¿ Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Idaho homeowners who were duped into paying a New Jersey company to help them modify their mortgages will get more than $19,000 in a settlement.

Wasden says the investigation into Weston, New Jersey-based Best Interest Rate Mortgage Co. LLC began with a complaint about a direct-mail advertisement.

The ad offered a special loan modification programs as part of the "Economic Stimulus Act of 2008" and appeared to have come from the U.S. government.

The attorney general's office says the company charged Idaho homeowners upfront fees ranging from $1,000 to $1,800 before the mortgage modifications were completed, which Idaho law prohibits.

The company, which has denied wrongdoing, was ordered to pay the 12 homeowners $19,710.
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