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State of California Sues Loan Modification Lawyer for Stealing From More than 2,000 Homeowners

July 8, 2009

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has sued a Los Angeles loan modification attorney, alleging that he took thousands of dollars from troubled homeowners without trying to help them, the Recorder reported July 8. The lawsuit names former attorney Mitchell W. Roth of Sherman Oaks, who has resigned from the State Bar with charges against him, as well as business associate Paul Noe Jr. Noe is the president of United First, a Nevada company that allegedly found clients to refer to Roth. The men are accused of taking thousands of dollars in up-front fees and providing little or no help to clients. The lawsuit seeks to get clients their money back, $2 million in restitution and a court order prohibiting the men from working as foreclosure consultants in the future.

Roth was already in professional and legal trouble. His law offices were shut down in March, thanks to State Bar prosecutors, and he voluntarily resigned from the Bar in May. In January, a court declared him a "vexatious litigant" -- someone who abuses lawsuits -- and ordered him to refund fees to nine clients. In the lawsuit by Brown, the defendants are accused of charging $1,500 in up-front fees, at least $1,200 a month and contingency fees to homeowners for Roth's legal services. The men would then take no action, the lawsuit said, allowing foreclosures to go through while they collected checks. In addition to violating laws against fraud and foreclosure consulting scams, the men are accused of violating California professional ethics rules.

As Ontario loan modification lawyers, we are especially unhappy to see a loan modification scam involving one of our fellow lawyers. We believe our status as attorneys is one of our advantages over loan modification companies, in part because we are subject to regulations and ethics rules that are not paralleled in the real estate industry. In fact, some of the accusations facing Roth might not be faced by a real estate agent, and certainly not by an unregulated business consultant. The professional discipline that caused his earlier discipline and resignation from the Bar is also unique to attorneys. However, by abusing clients' trust and allowing that professional discipline to catch up with him, Roth has still hurt the reputations of all Los Angeles loan modification attorneys.

The Anaheim law firm of Howard Law LLP also represents clients who need mortgage loan modifications -- but we're proud to say we have clean disciplinary records. Our Dana Point loan modification lawyers can never outright promise results, but we work our hardest to get our clients meaningful loan modifications that allows them to stay in their homes. We have been successful in the past getting interest rates lowered; changing the length of the loan; and changing structures of adjustable-rate and other exotic mortgages to more conventional loans. If appropriate, we can use evidence of predatory lending as leverage to convince the lender that you deserve a better deal.

If you're in danger of foreclosure and you need help fast, contact Howard Law today for a free, confidential consultation. You can contact us online or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.