State regulators have yanked the license of a Bloomington mortgage modification company it says was preying on desperate homeowners.

Mortgage Connection Inc., also called Mordicorp, didn't have the appropriate license, altered documents and charged illegal advance fees for loan modification services that it frequently failed to provide, the Commerce Department said Thursday. In some cases, the consumers fell behind even further on payments and are losing their homes in foreclosure.

Thirty-six consumers, including about 19 in Minnesota, were charged on average more than $2,000 in advance fees for modifications they didn't receive. They will get refunds within the next 30 days, the department said.

"Time and time again we see vulnerable homeowners turn over their last dollar in hopes that their homes might be saved," state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement.

The company's license has been revoked and its president, Augustus Odoom, has been barred from originating or servicing mortgages and must pay a civil fine of $40,000 if he doesn't return fees to customers, among other things, according to the consent agreement signed last week. Odoom, 58, is recently of Eden Prairie.

The Commerce Department has taken action against a number of loan modification companies since early 2010 for deceptive and illegal practices, such as taking upfront fees for modifications that are never provided.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683