Falling prey to Predatory Lenders & Scavenger Attorneys: Tell me your story.

 

Injured by a predatory attorney?

Email me at:  info@predatorylies.com

Homeowners who are subjected to a predatory servicer’s tactics to foreclose on a home are desperate for a solution and highly vulnerable to being exploited by an unethical attorney.   Over a period of years, or even decades, a servicer with no proof of standing can emotionally, physically, mentally and financially break down a homeowner to the point where a scavenger attorney can come in and finish off any remaining savings, assets or retirement funds.

Predatory tactics by servicers include fabricating documents to create the appearance of standing, refusing to identify the true creditor, revoking completed modifications, retaining modification payments, breaking and entering, intimidation tactics, and other unsavory behaviors meant to drive a homeowner from their home or stop fighting.

This is a time when a homeowner is at an elevated risk for divorce, unemployment, illness, depression, and even suicide. Meanwhile, the entire family unit is impacted by the stress, uncertainty and fear of homelessness.  Vulnerable homeowners are chum in the water for predatory attorneys who can smell their fear and desperation- and move in for the final kill.

Unfortunately, I am that homeowner.  So desperate for salvation that I ignored my intuition and better judgement at my own peril.  This is my warning to vulnerable homeowners who are easy prey for unscrupulous attorneys- even the ones you think you can trust the most. Trust me- I have been there.

Over a period of 15 years my loan servicer enacted a well-executed strategy devised first and foremost to exhaust all my financial resources, conceal the true creditor, and confuse and deceive the court.  The servicer submitted fabricated and altered documents into the court record, revoked a completed modification, and resorted to intimidation and predatory tactics.  The servicer’s fraud paid off and they prevailed on appeal because at the time I was not aware they had forged a note and altered an Affidavit the judge based her opinion on.

Reeling from that loss, I sought out two attorneys who were considered the best in the business to deal with the fact that my servicer had resorted to fraud to prevail.  Desperate for representation, I paid the attorneys an $8,500 retainer to file a federal rescission lawsuit in Broward county.  The attorneys were adamant that I focus on filing a rescission lawsuit although I was not confident a rescission lawsuit would be successful. I found it odd that the country’s ‘finest’ foreclosure attorneys appeared nonplussed by the fraudulent activities committed in the lower and appeal courts against me.

It was my belief when we filed that I had other valid complaints that should also be pursued in addition to the rescission, including the discovery of a fabricated note and forged endorsement, recent fraud on the court, and standing issues that had never been raised.

Soon after we filed the rescission lawsuit I was forced to file a last minute bankruptcy to save my home pro se (with no debt but the home).  Instead of paying a competent bankruptcy attorney, I was paying my attorneys in preparation of the future suit.  The servicer, not fearing a pro se debtor, violated the automatic bankruptcy stay, foreclosed on my home and ordered third parties to break and enter into my occupied home.   At that point my attorneys assured me we would litigate the egregious violations when my bankruptcy was dismissed.

My former attorneys  also encouraged me to allow the bank to foreclose in 2015 so I was actually “damaged”.  They said the courts had ruled that unless you lost your home to foreclosure, you were not ‘injured’ in a legal sense.  It is absurd to be told that 15 years of ongoing litigation results in no damages.  We have been emotionally devastated, financially drained, and unable to move forward with our lives- by a servicer who has been unable to prove standing without resorting to fabricating and forging documents.  The attorneys lured me to their office, stating my case was one of the most egregious cases they had ever heard- and I fell for their lines.  I finally thought I had found an advocate and competent attorney who could help me to resolve my issue- instead I found the antithesis of an honest attorney.

Had I followed their “legal advice” I would have lost my house in addition to the $33,500 that was paid for representation- if I had not filed for bankruptcy. The advice I received from my attorneys was irresponsible and very poorly researched.

In retrospect, I should have placed the funds in a trust account, in my own name, until my bankruptcy was dismissed or discharged and maintained control over them.  But I trusted this attorney with my whole heart- and if there was anyone in the world who would understand what I had been subjected to over the duration of my case it would be him.  When I spoke to him on Tuesday it was chilling how very little he knew about my case.

Until you have a track record with an attorney, I highly recommend you maintain control over your funds or risk further victimization.  Create an agreement where you periodically fund the trust as needed.   I was told the funds would be placed in trust so they would be available for future court fees, expert testimony and to cover future attorney costs when we refiled. They convinced us this was the only way they would proceed with representation.  Another red flag.  It appears the funds were never placed in trust, but instead, divvied up between the attorneys every month without my consent or my knowledge and in violation of the contact.

I never received a statement from the attorneys or any accounting from 2015 until last week when I received an erroneous statement that was quickly compiled to create the appearance that records were kept.

I assumed I had at least $25k sitting in trust. I was conned by a smooth talking, experienced attorney who appeared kind, competent and committed to helping homeowners navigate treacherous foreclosure litigation.  I shudder at my naivete.

I also recommend that you consult with at least four attorneys before hiring an attorney, much like you would a surgeon before you have surgery.   Vet the attorney.  Read prior lawsuits they have filed- even if they must redact them.  Do not fall for the usual, “I can’t share details because the case was sealed”- like I did.  If they can’t provide proof of past performance, do not hire them.  Look for any red flags- and run as fast as you can.

Check references by contacting prior attorneys and the bar association. Check the online ratings at Martindale and other attorney rating agencies.  Had I done my due diligence I would have never retained these two attorneys based on client complaints,  court losses and a public Bar reprimand that states that in at least instances he accepted money to represent clients and did not do so, did not refund their money and denied knowing the client.  The Bar also found that he failed to communicate, and charged excessive fees.  Apparently he hasn’t changed his ways because he charged me $33,500 to file a six-page lawsuit and apparently quit working for me a year and a half ago without letting me know.   It is apparent that he believes he can continue to victimize homeowners and that not even the Bar will stop him.

What will it take for the Florida Bar to stop this attorney?  Isn’t filing a lawsuit that had no chance of succeeding and charging a client $33,500 for a six-page lawsuit not egregious enough?  It is my belief he is a public danger as much as a servicer who resorts to fraud to foreclose on a home.   And I was his biggest fan and advocate.

I recently discovered what the Bar had to say about my prior attorney: “(redacted) publicly reprimanded following a June 9 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) In at least four instances, (redacted) accepted money to represent clients and failed to follow through. In one case, (redacted) did not perform the work and, when asked for a refund, denied knowing the client. In other cases, he failed to communicate, charged excessive fees, failed to return refunds upon request, and failed to timely respond to Bar inquiries.  Unfortunately, I have knowledge of at least 20 more instances where clients did not receive what they ordered in a timely fashion, did not receive a refund, and were very displeased with his service.

I have been told by several attorneys over the past week that it appears I was the guinea pig recruited to test his legal rescission theories when I had legitimate complaints worthy of  litigation (forgery, breaking and entering, automatic stay violations, fraud on the court).  I did not agree to risk my home, financial security and sanity to determine if his rescission theory ‘worked’.

It is my belief that they smelled blood and an opportunity to make a quick $8500+ on the retainer and stream of payments that were supposed to be held in trust.  We would have been much better off spending the money on a bankruptcy attorney and then filing a legitimate suit based on fraud.   With scarce resources, our attorneys gave us advice that was to their benefit, not ours.

Another red flag I dismissed was their hyper-aggressive manner about receiving their monthly retainer immediately.  In fact, the only regular correspondence I received was a monthly email from the attorney demanding payment on the first of each month.  Although I retained the attorneys in July 2015, I would not receive a statement until March 20, 2018.  The statement said my balance was zero. Please do not fall for these tactics.  Keep control over your funds to prevent future injury.

With an upcoming statute of limitations deadline, we knew we would need to find new representation.  We sent a letter last week letting the attorneys know that we were cancelling representation, a request for the return of our funds, and a final accounting.  A week prior we were forced to come to the conclusion that our attorney had failed to fulfill his commitment to us in the past and that if we used him we would lose. Imagine our shock when the attorney wrote back that they had ceased to represent us in August 2016!  We were never told that representation had been cancelled.

Thankfully we have a chain of emails and several recordings demonstrating the attorney who was our primary attorney contact was not aware that representation had been cancelled either- but he also had no idea that we had paid  $33,500 for representation!  He admitted he had never kept time sheets, but he was going to “recreate” them.  He knew  he received a monthly payment but claimed he wasn’t sure for what!!!! It was a blessing in disguise that we found this out while we still have time to find a new attorney.

My closing advice is to keep detailed records of every phone call, email, event and occurrence.  Keep a log regarding all interactions.  I personally use a digital journal/diary service to document all attorney transactions so there is no mistake of who said what, on what date.  I suggest you do the same.  Keeping a digital diary allows you to stay organized, tag the entries and download them into a PDF when needed.

I made erroneous presumptions that my attorney cared and my funds were safely set aside in trust.  At the same time I discovered I had no funds, I discovered I also had no attorney.  It was quite a shock to put it mildly.  I am now scrambling to find a foreclosure attorney with above all else- integrity.  If one exists, I will let you know.  Don’t hold your breath.

I will be sharing my experience on a new blog at www.predatorylies.com.

Don’t be surprised if this post is removed.

If you have been a victim of a predatory attorney please email me at info@predatorylies.com.  I am working with officials to bring this fraud to a stop.  I will also be posting a new blog at www.predatorylies.com in the near future.

13 Responses

  1. Forgeries R Us and so obvious. Yes, courts are in on it, and the clerks and the clerks at the Register of Deeds office.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. louise,

    Brock and Scott are the ones who hired on Troutman and Sanders, for Ocwen. In my earlier email see the MERS assignment and New Century paperwork that was submitted. And this cat Sony Prudent (which I think is a fake name), works in the cashiers department and according to the lawyer in the case I posted, he is “spectacularly incompetent”.

    None of this paperwork is possible, as New Century was in bankruptcy and MERS was not able to execute anything for New Century, said the Federal Court, yet, Brock and Scott gave these documents to Troutman and Sanders to submit and they got the order to foreclose, after this being the 5th (FIFTH) time with the same people, same complaint and the same argument. This is unbelievable. The courts are allowing this. I mean, the counterfeiting is obvious to anyone. Let’s not discuss the robo- signing. I have every single signature with Secretary of State documents, linked In job titles, Notary documents, etc…verifying the signatures are ALL from Ocwen employees. Then I have paperwork designating Ocwen has my property as an REO, since 2009, it is an investment opportunity on their website and notations on the assignment from GMAC-Rescap, with the servicer and loan number redacted…and they just got a foreclosure order based on the CSMC, REMIC Trust. It is not in that trust or any trust, OCWEN is the owner. Good Grief. A entry level court clerk could figure this out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In 2008 my lawyer presented a false offer w Chase Loss Mitigation. I caught them in the act and sale was cancelled. Although numerous complaints were made against this lawyer my complaint was ignored by the bar although he was suspended or fined. After last complaints to CFPB may have been ’15 or later after PennyMac took over I received response that there was no record of this even happening. Can I revive the issue separately or include when I finally file lawsuit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If anyone has been cheated by unscrupulous counsel, we can assist you in the matter. Consumer Rights Defenders at 818.453.3585. Helping pro se litigants get their matter into court for 11 years. Ask for Sara using the keywords: “lawyer malpractice.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brock & Scott on the other side of my case. Forged mortgage right off the top, no standing, looks like the Osceola County audit shows lots of questionable documents with lots of fraud on the court.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel your pain. Sadly your story is not the exception but more of the norm. Your ability to fight for 15 years is quite remarkable. We must just realize that the banks/servicers have partnered with the courts/government to facilitate foreclosures. Why else would they drift so far from the law as it is written and look the other way when presented with forged documents. Similar to you I completed a forbearance program that was to automatically transition into a loan modification at the forbearance payment amount. After completing all the required payments in the required time they sent me a letter telling me I was no longer eligible for a loan modification and none of the payments that I made went toward my alleged loan but to the servicer! Then they sent me a bill I could not pay. 30 days later they said they accelerated my alleged loan payments and about 30 days later they set a sale date in my non-judicial state. I have been fighting the injustice ever since

    WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, AS THEY SOMETIMES WILLL
    WHEN THE ROAD YOUR TRUDGING, SEEMS ALL UP HILL
    WHEN THE FUNDS ARE LOW AND THE DEBTS ARE HIGH
    WHEN YOU WANT TO SMILE, BUT YOU HAVE TO SIGH
    WHEN CARE IS PRESSING YOU DOWN A BIT,
    REST IF YOU MUST, BUT DON’T QUIT
    LIFE IS QUEER WITH IT’S TWISTS AND TURNS,
    AS EVERY ONE OF US SOMETIMES LEARNS
    AND MANY A FAILURE TURNS ABOUT
    WHEN HE MIGHT HAVE WON HAD HE STUCK IT OUT;
    DON’T GIVE UP, THOUGH THE PACE SEEMS SLOW,
    YOU MAY SUCCEED WITH ANOTHER BLOW
    SUCCESS IS FAILURE TURNED INSIDE OUT–
    THE SILVER TINT OF THE CLOUDS OF DOUBT,
    AND YOU NEVER CAN TELL HOW CLOSE YOU ARE,
    IT MAY BE NEAR WHEN IT SEEMS SO FAR,
    SO, STICK TO THE FIGHT WHEN YOU’RE HARDEST HIT–
    IT’S WHEN THINGS SEEM WORST, THAT YOU MUST NOT QUIT

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi I hired an attorney who in writing told me that she was specializing in this type of law only to learn that she had only been a licensed CA Attorney for 8 months. She didn’t do anything in the fee agreement like filing a lawsuit, imagine that. After this Attorney told me to write my own lawsuit that was the final straw.

    I hired her on 8-10-17 and terminated her services on 8-17-17 and she refused to give me any of my money back. This was just unconscionable and unreasonable. I filed a bar complaint but the CA state bar doesn’t do anything. I had to write and file a lawsuit in superior court to ensure that I will have my day in court.

    What’s worse than a mortgage servicer? An attorney that takes advantage of people at their lowest point! That takes it to an ultimate low. While that $5,000.00 may not be a lot to some. As a disabled veteran that’s more than my monthly disability check!

    Like

  8. This is not new. What I think is new is homeowners banning together to fight back. It truly does take a village.

    Like

  9. What about Predatory Judges who allow “Fraud Upon the Courts”!

    Like

  10. Reblogged this on California freelance paralegal and commented:
    Hopefully this individual will be able to find an honest attorney.

    Like

  11. Reblogged this on Deadly Clear.

    Like

  12. Well, most of you know a lot about my story, so I will sum it up to date. The attorney I hired to assist with procedure, went to court De Novo Hearing on my behalf March 19, 2018. Called me 30 minutes before court asking if I were going to be present….the court is over 28 miles away. Never could have made it in time.

    The foreclosure sale was allowed, with an assignment from New Century in 2012. The MERS assignment was also involved, where Judge Carey in 2008 signed a order, retroactive to December 2006, where the MERS executory contracts were “void” and MERS could not sign for New Century.

    A “faux professional” witness, named Sony Prudent claiming to be a corporate representative for the “investor” and “servicer” was present testifying….laughable. My attorney did nothing to contest any of it and I never heard back from him to date.

    Check Out Sony Prudent Folks….
    In the District Court of Appeal
    Fourth District of Florida
    CASE NO. 4D13-4056
    (Circuit Court Case No. 50 2009 CA 018458XXXX MB)
    LAURA T. HEPWORTH and MICHAEL T. HEPWORTH,
    Appellants,
    v.
    WELLS FARGO BANK, NA, et al.
    Appellees.

    I need this in my life…NOT. Now, I have to sue the attorney I guess. Great! Have been telling him forever, Ocwen is fabricating all of the documents and we can prove it.

    In North Carolina they have this “new” rule, 2011. That every missed payment is a new default. Tell me something folks: how can a contractual agreement, with an acceleration clause, be altered by the state? Just asking

    Like

  13. Post this on facebok

    Like

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