I have previously written about how attorneys can be great and how they can be bad in the field of helping distressed homeowners. Now the California Bar Association has published the preliminary results of an investigation into those attorneys supposedly offering services to help distressed homeowners in one of the hardest hit states.
Attorneys, especially real estate attorney, but also divorce and family law, criminal and commercial law practitioners have had a few dismal years. Finding a new niche appeared easy to some attorneys, especially with promises of "loan modification experts" telling them to just refer the business their way for a referral fee.
As stated in my previous blog articles, the problem is several fold. For one, attorneys to get this business were paying illegal referral fees to non-attorneys. Another is that they were practicing law in states without a license in that state. And yet another is that they were fronting for loan modification firms but not really doing any work for their "client". And the "client" actually was the loan modification firm and not the distressed homeowner.
In my practice, which includes extensive work on short sales and loan modifications as well as foreclosure defense (whatever that means), we have people coming in showing us examples of: Attorneys sending non-legal "salesmen" out to solicit business for a company that the attorney then gets a "legal fee" from; giving false information - I can't say it is "wrong" information because it just isn't; and attorneys offering "delays" as a solution to a distress homeowner - typically saying, "we will delay and delay (for which you will pay me a monthly fee) while you don't pay your mortgage (and stay in the house for free, or collect the rent from your tenant) and then when the bank finally gets through the delays we will offer to settle with them for a modification or whatever". Sound lilke a plan to you?
Distressed homeowners should seek help -- BUT: 1. Be realistic in expectations; 2. If it is too good to be true, it isn't. 3. If you are being pushed to sign up, DON'T! 4. Get recommendations and actually check them out!
Copyright 2009 Richard P. Zaretsky, Esq.
Be sure to contact your own attorney for your state laws, and always consult your own attorney on any legal decision you need to make. This article is for information purposes and is not specific advice to any one reader.
Richard Zaretsky, Esq., RICHARD P. ZARETSKY P.A. ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1655 PALM BEACH LAKES BLVD, SUITE 900, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33401, PHONE 561 689 6660 RPZ99@Florida-Counsel.com - FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED IN REAL ESTATE LAW - We assist Brokers and Sellers with Short Sales and Modifications and Consult with Brokers and Sellers Nationwide! Shortsales@Florida-Counsel.com New Website www.Florida-Counsel.com. See our easy to find articles at TABLE OF CONTENTS - SHORT SALE AND LOAN MODIFICATION ARTICLES.