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Nonlawyers and Fraudsters Increasingly Offer Foreclosure Defense Lawsuit Services

April 22, 2011

As Fontana foreclosure defense lawyers, much of what we do involves suing lenders that have failed to fairly consider our clients' applications for loan modifications. While there's never a guaranteed outcome to any legal action, we have found this to be an effective way to stop foreclosures in the short term while forcing lenders to take our clients' legal rights seriously. So we were disappointed to read an April 17 article in the Sacramento Bee about an increase in fraud against homeowners in that position, by unscrupulous attorneys or people who are not attorneys at all.

The Bee says foreclosure lawsuits have more than doubled in Sacramento and Placer Counties compared to two years ago. However, many of these lawsuits aren't succeeding. An investigator for the State Bar of California, which regulates unauthorized practice of law and lawyer ethics, said some people are charging desperate homeowners high fees, but then delivering little or nothing. One person profiled in the article hired a paralegal to prepare his paperwork, something a State Bar spokesperson said was illegal. The article noted that about a fifth of recent plaintiffs are representing themselves, something legal experts noted lowers their chances of success. Indeed, 12 of 13 homeowners who sued in 2009 lost their homes eventually, the newspaper noted.

Our Corona foreclosure defense attorneys understand all too well what creates such dismal statistics. When borrowers file lawsuits alleging mortgage fraud, they are going up against well-funded major banks. Those banks have teams of attorneys at their disposal to pick through the borrowers' papers and find real or exaggerated mistakes that they can use to get the case dismissed. And unfortunately, it's hard for people who represent themselves to produce strong filings, because they have to do a lot of time-consuming research and understand the requirements, something that's hard to balance with a full-time job and other obligations. Even if they don't get scammed by "lawsuit mills" or nonlawyers, these people may still end up spending a lot of money for nothing.

Howard Law PC is not a lawsuit mill or a bogus foreclosure defense firm -- we are an established law firm with a clean, publicly available record of ethics from the State Bar of California. Since the beginning of the housing downturn, we have represented people who are fighting their loan servicers and lenders for a fair chance at a loan modification. Most recently, our Newport Beach foreclosure defense lawyers have handled numerous cases involving the federal HAMP program, whose rules are routinely ignored by loan servicers eager to exploit borrowers for profit. Servicers may not deny HAMP modifications, or decline to make temporary modifications permanent, if borrowers meet the standards -- but they frequently do. We sue over this breach of fair dealing, and we do it the right way, without defrauding or deceiving clients.

If your home is in default or foreclosure, or you expect it to be there soon, you should call Howard Law about your legal rights and your options. To set up a free, confidential consultation, you can call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.