Lawyers Are on the Hot Seat in California for Possibly Scamming Clients in Loan Modification Foreclosure

Hiring an attorney to help you with your loan modification?

Foreclosure Update October

Just when you think things can't get worse...they do. In California, the State Bar Association was shocked at the number of attorneys who are taking advantage of clients who have hired them to help with their foreclosure...only to find out they may have been scammed! The problem apparently has gotten so bad, they are " waiving investigation confidentiality in favor of public protection".

According to my source, “The number of attorneys using their law licenses to essentially take money from unwary but trusting consumers is astounding,” Weiner added. “There are literally thousands of victims who have lost money they could not afford to lose. Under the circumstances, the need for public information and protection is paramount.” Among the cases against attorneys, nearly 25% are related to issues revolving around home foreclosures.

The complaints from these unsuspecting homeowners include charges that the attorney took their money and then did nothing to help them. They made promises and then failed to deliver on them. When clients tried to call, they wouldn't return phone calls.

Things are so out of hand that the state Bar has developed a team of special investigators to deal with all of the complaints coming in. The majority of lawyers who are in trouble offering loan modification service are often associated with companies that use telemarketers or phone banks to obtain clients.

Several attorneys have resigned pending investigations. Among the charges are the use of non-licensed office staff who are preforming duties that are considered "practicing law".

Foreclosure Loan Modification Attorney list

"The following attorneys have received a significant number of complaints related to the loan modification services they were hired to perform. They are entitled to a full and fair hearing on any charges that may be filed in the future. No discipline may be imposed unless and until the State Bar proves allegations of misconduct by clear and convincing evidence" (website reference was removed by the originator).

David Arase, Bar No. 233705, Arase Law Firm and National Housing Assistance

Stephen Burns, Bar No. 113371, Legal Group Network

Robert Buscho, Bar No. 122556, United Law Group

Nicholas Chavarela, Bar No. 251632, Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group

Steven Feldman, Bar No. 103676, Feldman Law Center

Eric Johnson, Bar No. 224065, Avantgarde Group

Paul Lucas, Bar No. 163076, Lucas Law Center

Brandon Moreno, Bar No. 233750, U. S. Foreclosure

Jeffrey Nemerofsky, Bar No. 213014, U.S. Advocacy Law Group and U.S. Financial Products

Gregory Paiva, Bar No. 207218, Law Offices of Gregory Paiva

Adrian Pomery, Bar No. 249664, U.S. Foreclosure

Ronald Rodis, Bar No. 181873, Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group

Mark Shoemaker, Bar No. 134828, Advocates for Fair Lending

Marc Tow, Bar No. 78429, Marc Tow and Associates

Michael Yellin, Bar No. 255050, A Fresh Start Loan Modification

Sean Rutledge, Bar No. 255938, United Law Group

foreclosure and loan modification scams- who should be held responsible for the damages?
foreclosure and loan modification scams- who should be held responsible for the damages?

Your Loan Modification- How to choose a good attorney and what to look out for

The best way to find a good attorney is through the referral of someone who has used them. Another way is to contact the State Bar Association and ask for a referral. This is true whether you are in California or any other state. There are legitimate and honest attorneys out there, you just need to use caution when betting your money on one.

Some of the things to be wary of if you are in need of legal assistance:

  • Ads should disclose who the attorney is that will be responsible- if not, be wary.
  • Be on guard if the office personnel won't disclose the name of the attorney
  • The attorney is too busy to meet with you in person and sends someone else in his stead
  • The attorney tells the potential client to stop paying their loan payment.
  • The rate of success is very high- 90% and above. Realistically, this would be unlikely.
  • The company requires a large upfront fee even prior to any case assessment.
  • The attorney isn't licensed for your state


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Comments 12 comments

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

It just never ends. No matter which way we turn - someone is waiting to rob us. I think this is reminder that too much of our lives is in the hands of someone else. Good grief!

Brilliant to print names. At least we can help protect one another by sharing information.

Thanks a lot for this hub!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA

BAGT... THAT was very likely a very brave article. There is something I learned years ago, BAGT, and that is medical doctors are very reluctant to turn on one another, but it is the opposite with lawyers. They will turn on each other at the drop of a feather. Good luck and "watch your back." Gus


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks BkCreative for stopping by! It really just amazes me how we have to be so on our toes...and it burns me that they have the audacity to take advantage of people at such a low point in their life!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks Gus! The only way to mitigate the damage is to keep more from happening. Maybe this will save one person the heartache.


lyricsingray 6 years ago

Yikes! Glad I'm not in California-Thanks!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Lyricsingray- The scary thing is this is probably not isolated to California- the attorneys in other states just haven't been caught- or publicly flogged in the case of these attorneys. Word to the wise! Thanks Lyricsingray for your comments and stopping by !


theguru-reports profile image

theguru-reports 6 years ago from Montana

@bayarea, I am sure that's the case. Reminds me of the old joke when God is having a battle with Satan over an issue and threatens to sue Satan. The response from Satan, "Oh yeah, where you gonna get a lawyer." In my opinion, most of the problems with our world stem from the hand and mind of attorneys. Its why I vote to toss out EVERY SINGLE JUDGE that comes up on a ballot. I don't care who they are--they go.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

guru- That is so FUNNY! Thanks so much for a good laugh :)


Sylvia Litchfield 6 years ago

Mostly, it's very hard to get any loan mod passed, period, because the banks are rediculously slow and disorganized. So these loan mod companies in California started out as mortgage brokers who were short of business and so decided to go into doing loan mods, making all kinds of promises and taking people's upfront fees. (The same kind of folks who made the bad loans in the first place) Then they changed the laws in California and decided loan mod companies would be required to be law firms. The first loan mod company I hired sold out to a law firm. But now the lawfirm is bankrupt. So much for the money-back guarantee, they took people's money and kept the business running until they could no longer pay their staff of young inexperienced lawyers. These easy loan mods that were supposed to have a 90% success rate and take 30 days were taking months and years even - if they got through at all. It is possible, but one must be very meticulous, knowledgable, and persistent.


Mrs. Obvious profile image

Mrs. Obvious 6 years ago from Northern California

Thanks for reminding folks that no one is above the law. Lawyers are not always honest just because they are lawyers. Don't live your life with your eyes closed people. Good info, thanks


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Mrs. Obvious- Thanks for sharing with me! I mainly just want to do what I can to help anyone who may need assistance and the LAST thing they need is a crooked lawyer (of course all of these here are innocent until proven guilty).


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Bayareagreatthing, This was quite informative! Nothing surprises me these days! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

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    References:

    http://calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10144&n=96395

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