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Joseph Gembala, Esq. Sued for Loan Modification and Foreclosure Rescue Services.

A recent lawsuit alleges that yet another lawyer has found himself deep in trouble by over promising and under-delivering loan modification services. It is an interesting suit since it shows yet another twisted and convoluted network of companies created to confuse consumers and leave them still in trouble, but apparently poorer.

Joseph Gembala, Esq. Sued for Loan Modification and Foreclosure Rescue Services.
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA SOUTHERN DIVISION

Michael and Dorothy MANUEL

vs.

Joseph A. GEMBALA, III, Esq.;
JOSEPH A. GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES,
(a Pennsylvania sole proprietorship and )

SECURE PROPERTY SOLUTIONS, LLC,
(a New Jersey limited liability company)

CUSTOM ASSET SOLUTIONS, LLC,
(a New Jersey limited liability company)

NATIONAL MORTGAGE CONSULTANTS GROUP, LLC,
(a New Jersey limited liability company)

Defendants

10. Defendant Joseph A. Gembala III, Esq. is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, admission date 06 November 1985, PA Attorney ID 44063, primary address 1500 Walnut Street Suite 2000, Philadelphia PA 19102, alternate address 208 White Horse Pike, Suite 9, Barrington NJ 08007, and participates in the management and operation of all Entity Defendants through a pattern of racketeering activities.

11. All Entity Defendants are RICO Enterprises, i.e., racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations per 18 U.S.C. § 1961(4), NCGS § 75D-3(a), and NJS § 2C:41-1c.

12. All Entity Defendants, even those formally organized as corporations or limited liability companies, are under Mr. Gembala’s domination and control in order to perpetrate fraud, crime, and inequity, and must be disregarded for purposes of attempting to limit any person’s liability for any claim herein.

13. Defendant Joseph A. Gembala, III, & Associates (JAGA) is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, primary address 1500 Walnut Street Suite 2000, Philadelphia PA 19102, alternate address 208 White Horse Pike, Suite 9, Barrington NJ 08007, may be served with process through its only known principal Joseph A. Gembala III at the same addresses, is partly engaged in the legitimate practice of law and partly in the business of mail and wire fraud in furtherance of a nationwide “mortgage modification” scheme and laundering the proceeds, and is a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization managed and operated by Joseph A. Gembala III through a pattern of racketeering activities.

14. All other Entity Defendants serve only the purposes of luring Plaintiffs into Defendants’ “mortgage modification” scheme and funneling Plaintiffs’ money back to JAGA and therefore Mr. Gembala (the authorization forms found at each Entity Defendant’s site specify that all monies will be paid to JAGA), while attempting to hide Mr. Gembala’s interest in and control over Entity Defendants by listing strawmen as their officers and directors, and by excessively fragmenting the enterprise into at least four separate entities when only one is necessary or desirable for any legitimate business, and therefore all Entity Defendants are interchangeable or collapsible, and ultimately disregarded for purposes of limiting Mr. Gembala’s or each other’s liabilityto Plaintiffs.

15. Defendant Secure Property Solutions, LLC (SPS) is a limited liability company organized under New Jersey law on or about 25 July 2007, filing number 0600305072, record address 68 Sandra Road, Voorhees NJ 08043, registered agent Michael Malone at the same address, is also admitted in Pennsylvania, entity number 3877641, record address 1500 Walnut Street Suite 2000, Philadelphia PA 19102, may be served through its general partners Christopher Frisch, 13 Preswick Drive, Medford NJ 08055 or Michael Malone, 68 Sandra Drive, Voorhees NJ 08043, is an alter ego of Mr. Gembala and JAGA (a call to SPS’s main number866 712 5777 connects to a recorded greeting that directs active clients to “call the Law Firm direct at 877 857 3443”), is entirely in the business of mail and wire fraud and laundering the proceeds, and is a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization managed and operated by Joseph A. Gembala III through a pattern of racketeering activities.

16. Defendant Custom Asset Solutions, LLC (CAS) is a limited liability company organized under New Jersey law, filing number 0400305512, business office 1500 Walnut Street Suite 2000, Philadelphia PA 19102, may be served through its officer or director John Malone, 1024 Berlin Road, Cherry Hill NJ 08034, is an alter ego or alias for Secure Property Solutions, LLC (CAS’s site is almost identical to SPS’s site and is labeled “Secure Property Solutions, LLC”on many pages, and sometimes describes CAS as “a division of Secure Property Solutions, LLC”), is entirely in the business of mail and wire fraud and laundering the proceeds, and is a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization managed and operated by Joseph A. Gembala III through a pattern of racketeering activities.

17. Defendant National Mortgage Consultants Group, LLC (NMCG) is a limited liability company organized under New Jersey law, filing number 0400297588, may be served through its only known officer John T. Lynch, 117 Lancaster Avenue, Freehold NJ 07728, is an alter ego or alias for Secure Property Solutions, LLC (its listed number 877 212 7022 connects to a recorded greeting beginning “Hello, and thank you for calling Secure Property Solutions and National Mortgage”), is entirely in the business of mail and wire fraud and laundering the proceeds, and is a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization managed and operated by Joseph A. Gembala III through a pattern of racketeering activities.

18. Their homepages are, respectively:
gembala-law.com
securepropertysolutionsllc.com/index.html
customassetsolutions.com/
nationalmtgconsultants.com/

19. gembala-law.com/PracticeAreas/Loan-Modification_asp refers to SPS as JAGA’s “processing center.”

20. Since each RICO Enterprise’s client agreement specifies that all monies from Plaintiffs go to JAGA and therefore Mr. Gembala, those two are using part of Plaintiffs’ payments to pay wages, salaries, commissions, and bonuses to the RICO Enterprises’ employees or agents, and each RICO Enterprise has at least some of Plaintiffs’ money.

21. Since Plaintiffs send in money after Defendants have completed the offenses of wire and mail fraud upon each Plaintiff, all of Defendants’ transactions in said money are offenses of money laundering.

22. Mr. Gembala therefore must be managing and participating in the RICO Enterprises through a pattern of racketeering activity, and reinvesting at least part of the proceeds of fraud and money laundering in the RICO Enterprises.

23. No Defendant has any debt adjuster, mortgage solicitor, real estate sales, home financing agency, employing broker, branch office, or broker of record license.

Facts

24. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/index.html, SPS’s homepage, reads: Welcome to Secure Property Solutions, the solution to all of your real estate, mortgage and investment needs. We specialize in helping homeowners who are behind with their mortgage payments and\or are in foreclosure. As every homeowner’s situation is different so are their options. Our goal is to help every homeowner who is looking for help no matter what their circumstances are.

We have a variety of resources that we utilize at Secure Property Solutions to help people in this situation. We have also built a large network of outside resources because sometimes we may feel there may be something more effective then what we can offer directly. So although your scenario may not meet our criteria, we may be able to assist you by referring your information. We will NOT refer your information without your permission.

If speed and experience are important and crucial to your real estate success, contact Secure Property Solutions today for help.

25. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: no one company can possibly be “the solution to all of your real estate, mortgage and investment needs”; SPS is part of the problem, not the solution; SPS cannot and does not help homeowners who are delinquent or in default on their mortgages; SPS’s goal is not to help homeowners, but to defraud homeowners of money without providing any useful service in return; SPS has no resources, much less “a variety of resources,” to help consumers; SPS has no “network of outside resources”; and SPS has neither speed nor experience “crucial to your real estate success.”

26. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/about.html, SPS’s “About Us” page, reads: Secure Property Solutions –Service you can trust.

Honesty. Experience. Professionalism.

Having years of experience in real estate investment and mortgage financing, Secure Property Solutions understands and appreciates the complexities that accompany certain transactions.

Often, these complexities provide roadblocks that traditional financing may never be able to overcome. This is where Secure Property Solutions excels. We specialize in finding different paths to surpass these roadblocks, regardless of poor credit, mortgage payment history or current financial situation. We will find the answer in a fast, efficient manner.

27. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: SPS provides no useful service, and is grossly untrustworthy; SPS is dishonest; no one at SPS has any significant experience that will benefit any consumer; SPS has no professionals, just salespeople, most of them with little education beyond high school; no one at SPS has any significant experience in real estate investment or mortgage financing, or appreciates the complexity of nonfraudulent real estate transactions; SPS does not excel, specialize, or even function in nontraditional financing, but does nothing more than take consumers’ money without providing any useful service; and cannot obtain loans or modifications for anyone who has good credit, much less for anyone with poor credit or current difficulties.

28. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/fhaloans.html, SPS’s “Hope for Homeowners” page, reads:

On October 1st 2008 the government laid out the future with the FHA Hope for Homeowners program. This program is available to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure. The program will save roughly 400,000 at-risk families by allowing them to qualify for FHA-insured mortgages.

Until now the FHA has not permitted delinquent borrowers to qualify for their loan program. Now the FHA Hope for Homeowners program will help distressed homeowners refinance their existing, in default, loans with FHA insurance. Also, a low credit score will not affect someone’s ability to qualify for this program.

A Secure Property Solutions consultant will review your situation to see if you can qualify for the FHA Hope for Homeowners program and connect you with someone who can do this mortgage for you.

29. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: SPS charges an advance fee, but no authorized FHA Hope for Homeowners counseling agency will do so, and all state housing authorities and attorneys general expressly warn consumers that up-front fees for any kind of mortgage or foreclosure relief are a sure indication of fraud; no SPS “consultant” will determine whether any consumer qualifies for Hope for Homeowners; and no SPS “consultant”will connect any consumer with a lender.

30. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/lossmitigation.html, SPS’s “Loan Modification” page, reads:

The processing center of Secure Property Solutions has been contracted by the Law Firm of Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates to assist homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments and\or are facing mortgage foreclosure. Due to the current economic crisis, the number of homeowners who are in default or are facing foreclosure has increased drastically. Together Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates and the processing center, Secure Property Solutions, LLC, have helped countless homeowners through this difficult time through the process of a loan modification.

Contact Secure Property Solutions to discuss the possibility of a loan modification. Almost any homeowner who is struggling with mortgage payments may be a candidate for the granting of a loan modification.

Benefits of a loan modification, if granted, may result in any or all of the following:

• Lowering your monthly mortgage payment
• Forgiveness of your past due payments
• Lowering your interest rate to a fixed interest rate
• Reduction of the principal balance
• Stopping the foreclosure process

Why you need an experienced real estate attorney:

• Bank loss mitigation specialists are skilled negotiators and need to protect the interest of the bank
• The loan modification is a legal process and, if not handled properly, may make things worse for you in the long run
• Our attorneys and negotiators have extensive experience negotiating with banks and they understand state and federal laws as well as lending regulations
• Our attorneys can use the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to your advantage
• Banks listen toattorneys because they know the law

Don’t wait any longer. Timing is vital with lenders. Contact Secure Property Solutions to stop the foreclosure process and save your home. Our experienced team will gather all of the necessary information to present your case to the lender’s loss mitigation negotiator and work diligently to achieve a successful loan modification in a fast and efficient manner. The sooner you take action, the better.

If you would like to learn more about the Law Firm of Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates, click here. [opens gembala-law.com/ in a new window]

*Secure Property Solutions does not outsource clients to third parties.*

31. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: the true relationship between Mr. Gembala and SPS is not contractual but as a fraudulent alter ego; Mr. Gembala controls, directs, and participates in the affairs of SPS through a pattern of racketeering activities (mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering) to cheat and defraud consumers, not help them; Mr. Gembala and SPS have not “helped countless homeowners” with “loan modification” but instead have defrauded countless homeowners without obtaining loan modification and left them worse off than before; no homeowner is a candidate for mortgage modification through Defendants, because no Defendant has any capability or desire to modify loans; no loan modification has ever been or will ever be “granted” through Defendants’ efforts; Defendants have lowered no one’s payment; Defendants have not gotten anyone’s past due payments forgiven; Defendants have not lowered anyone’s interest rate; Defendants have lowered no one’s principal balance; Defendants never stop foreclosure processes; Defendants, including Mr. Gembala himself, are not any better at obtaining mortgage modification than anyone else charging an advance fee for so doing; Defendants refer to “attorneys” but only have one attorney, Mr. Gembala, and he does not help individual consumers; Defendants employ or contract with no experienced negotiators, or at best, their only “experience” is to make a few perfunctory calls to lenders, without any effect on loan terms or balances; knowledge of TILA and RESPA does not help consumers if lenders have not violated either statute; banks do not listen to attorneys just because attorneys know the law; Defendants’ “team” does not work to get consumers’ mortgages modified, whether “in a fast or efficient manner” or otherwise; and SPS contradicts this page’s claim that it “does not outsource clients to third parties”by claiming on other pages to do exactly that.

32. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/nonconventionalprograms.html, SPS’s “Second Chance Program” page, reads:

Our Second Chance Program is ideal for homeowners who need to access their equity but are unable to do so through traditional financing.

Benefits:

• Cash out
Credit Repair
• Debt Consolidation\Elimination
• Bankruptcy Buyout (if applicable)
• Reduce Monthly Payment\Expenses

Secure Property Solutions will only offer this program to someone when it makes sense and our client is receiving a benefit from this program. When this program is applied properly it can be a very strong tool in helping a homeowner stop the foreclosure, save their house, get back on the path to success and remain on path for a long term.

33. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: Defendants do not explain what their “Second Chance Program” is, and it is unlikely to exist at all; at best, “access their equity but are unable to do so through traditional financing” implies an ability to obtain second mortgages for people with bad credit or difficulty paying bills, which Defendants cannot do; Defendants cannot repair credit by this or any other means, and violate the Credit Repair Organizations Act by so claiming; Defendants further violate CROA by charging advance fees; Defendants cannot reduce monthly payments or expenses but instead defraud consumers of money that could have gone to paying expenses; and Defendants have no programs or tools to stop foreclosure, save houses, or get consumers on the “path tosuccess,”whatever that is.

34. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/fhastreamline.html, SPS’s “FHA Streamline” page, reads:

Secure Property Solutions has become the industry leader in helping homeowners with their mortgage during the coming economic recession. Until now our focus has been on helping homeowners who are behind on their payments and\or are in foreclosure.

We have decided to take a proactive approach to help homeowners prevent this from happening by taking advantage of the government’s FHA STREAMLINE PROGRAM. If you currently have a FHA mortgage with an interest rate of 6.5 or higher this is a great opportunity to significantly lower your mortgage payment by improving the rate and term of your loan.

• No out of pocket expense
• Average rate reduction of 2.5%
• In house underwriting
• Bank driven interest rates

This is a fast and convenient loan to qualify for as there is limited underwriting and documentation needed.

GUIDELINES
• The mortgage to be refinanced must already be FHA insured
• The mortgage to be refinanced should be current
• The refinance must lower the principal and interest payment of the previous payment
• No cash out
• Any subordinate financing may remain in place as long as it is subordinate on title
• No appraisal is needed
• No termite report is required
• The borrower cannot be late, delinquent, or in default or any federal debt

DOCUMENT CHECKLIST
• Copy of the note and mortgage
• Copy of the homeowners policy
• Copy of the mortgage statement from the current mortgage company
• Copy of the previous title policy
• Copy of the drivers license
• Copy of the social security cards

Call today and begin to save your hard earned money!

35. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: neither SPS nor any other Defendant is an approved HUD or FHA lender and cannot possibly obtain such a mortgage for anyone; neither SPS nor any Defendant is any kind of “industry leader” in any legitimate industry, and that this claim is not mere sales puffery but is utterly and knowingly false and meant to mislead consumers; no Defendant in any way helps, much less is focused on helping, homeowners in trouble, but instead, Defendants seek to defraud such homeowners and wrongfully take the last of their money; neither SPS nor any other Defendant can possibly have taken “a proactive approach” to FHA Streamline mortgages because no Defendant is an approved lender; no Defendant can or will reduce interest rates by 2.5% or any other amount; the lists of conditions, requirements, and documents are intentionally misleading because no Defendant is an approved lender and cannot provide an FHA Streamline mortgage regardless of how many documents anyone provides; and whoever calls today or any other day will not “begin to save [thei]r hard earned money!” but will be defrauded of said hard earned money by Defendants.

36. securepropertysolutionsllc.com/branchlocations.html lists a number of “branch offices,” none of which is a branch office as the term is normally understood, that is, where corporate employees and managers normally work, and can meet with customers to assist them with mortgage relief.

37. 12232 NW 75th Place, Parkland FL 33076 is a single family residence that sold on 03 June 2006 for $882,000, not a suitable branch office.

38. 992 Kilburn Street, St. Paul MN 55117 is a single family residence, three bedroom one-bath, 1,179 square feet, not a suitable branch office.

39. 117 Lancaster Road, Freehold NJ 07728 is a single family residence, 1,734 square feet, not a suitable branch office.

40. 191 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY 10522 is actually the address of Drain-It, Inc., a plumbing contractor.

41. While 75 Sunset Road, Willingboro NJ 08046 is actually a four-unit commercial property (the other three are a beauty salon, convenience store, and Domino’s Pizza), this “branch office”has the same address, and the same 888 489 2688 fax number, as uspremierdebtsolvers.com/ [US Premier Debt Solvers], which shows every sign of being just another fraudulent “debt relief” outfit that takes peoples’ money and then does nothing for them.

42. customassetsolutions.com/contact.html lists 75 Sunset Road, Willingboro NJ 08046 as the sales and marketing office for Custom Asset Solutions, LLC.

43. Alternate SPS site securepropertysolutionsllc.net/ and other Defendant sites feature an ABC News story about the runaround that homeowners often get from lenders, and includes a segment wherein Congresswoman Maxine Waters telephones a major bank trying to find out about mortgage modification, but is put on hold for unreasonable lengths of time and is only allowed to talk to personnel who have no real power to help.

44. This is false and misleading because Congresswoman Waters’ image is invoked to make Plaintiffs think that Defendants are pro-consumer, and also falsely implies that Defendants can achieve results that a member of Congress cannot.

45. customassetsolutions.com/payments100.html reads in pertinent part:

FEE AGREEMENT FOR CASE WORK TO JOSEPH A. GEMBALA III

INFORMATION AS IT APPREARS ON CHECK
Name (Last, First Middle Initial):..
Address: .
City: .. State: . Zip.
Phone: .
Financial Institution Name (Bank, Savings, Credit Union, etc.):.
Routing Number (Must be 9 numbers):.. Account Number: .
1st Payment: . Date: . 2nd payment: . Date: . 3rd payment: .
Date:.
4th Payment:. Date: . 5th payment: . Date: . 6th payment: .
Date: .
ALL PAYMENTS ARE MADE PAYABLE TO:JOSEPH A GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES
JOSEPH A GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES DOES NOT ADVISE YOU TO STOP PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE
Please Note: Loan Modifications are a 60 to 120 day process.
PLEASE NOTE ALL PAYMENT PLANS ARE FINAL. ANY RETURNED CHECKS WILL VOID YOUR CONTRACT AND COMPLETE PAYMENT USING CERTIFIED FUNDS WILL ONLY REINSTATE YOUR MODIFICATION

100% Money Back Guarantee

In the unlikely event that your case has been pre-qualified, you have authorized payment, we have received all of your documents as requested, and our attorney is unable to negotiate a Loan Modification, you will receive a 100% refund.

When we say 100%, we mean 100%. Unlike most service providers, we withhold nothing. No processing fee, no administration fee, no intake fee, no initiation fee, no new client fee. If we cannot successfully negotiate a mortgage loan modification, you get it all back—even though we have invested our time and our money into your case.

That’s how confident we are.

If a client calls to cancel after prequalification and they have authorized payment, client will be reimbursed total amount paid less $795.00 JOSEPH A GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES DOES NOT ADVISE YOU TO STOP PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE

Please Note: Loan Modifications are a 90 to 120 day process.

I/We . , agree to pay Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates the amount of $ for Loss Mitigation Services. Payments are accepted are Personal Check, Cashier’s Check or Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express.

The undersigned further acknowledges that the additional terms of this transaction shall be subject to client’s Work Agreement on file, if no current Work Agreement on file, then the undersigned agrees that the compensation is determined by Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates discretion. Furthermore, the undersigned agrees that there is no refund of this transaction through a charge back process. Undersigned acknowledges that the loss mitigation work may not be processed without a signature and printed name. If the undersigned chooses to fax this sheet, the undersigned agrees that their faxed signature constitutes, and is as good as, their original signature.

By my signature, I authorize Joseph Gembala, III, & Associates to process payments on my account using the above information.

I hereby authorize Joseph Gembala, III, & Associates to deduct $ (Total) on the above dates.
Date (Month, Day, and Year): Signature By Typing Name:

46. This is false and fraudulent in at least the following ways: Defendants’ “mortgage modification” is not a 90 to 120-day process, but is altogether nonexistent and never happens at all, and Defendants will not refund any money, much less “100% withholding nothing”, regardless of the inevitable failure of their alleged “mortgage modification,” and shows that Defendants’ ultimate goal is to put money in Mr. Gembala’s pocket.

47. nationalmtgconsultants.com/ sells purported mortgage modification, credit repair, and “forensic loan audits” (whatever those are).

48. nationalmtgconsultants.com/downloads/Authorization.Form.pdf reveals “National Mortgage Consultants” to be just another front for JAGA.

Other Current and Former Marketing Sites

49. securepropertieshollywood.com/index.html is identical in format to SPS’s and includes Mr. Gembala’s photograph and mini-bio.

50. transworldmanagementgroup.com/ is an identical site to SPS’s, except that there is no immediate mention of Mr. Gembala or JAGA.

51. transworldprocessing.com/contact.us.htm is differently formatted, and headed “Law Offices of Joseph A. Gembala III and Associates.”

52. transworldprocessing.com/Law-Offices-of-Joseph-A-Gambella-Ltr.pdf is a “Loan Modification Agreement” between “Law Offices of Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates [attorney] and the client(s) named above to assist the client in conducting a bank approved loan modification for the above referenced property.”

53. hope4yourhome.com/index2b.htm is formatted similarly to Transworld Processing, and both are run by Martin Rothenberg.

54. However, as of about 12 January 2010, Hope4YourHome, Transworld, and Secure Properties Hollywood disclaim any current association with Defendants.

55. Each of the aforementioned sites communicates writings, signs, signals, and/or sounds for the purpose of promoting Defendants’ scheme or artifice to cheat Plaintiffs of money by promising to reduce monthly payments, reduce principal, reduce interest, or otherwise favorably modify Plaintiffs’ mortgages in return for an advance fee.

56. With each site, Defendants commit a separate continuing offense of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343.

57. Each of these sites is an advertisement of a New Jersey entity, and/or of a natural person residing in or operating from New Jersey, that makes false and misleading written statements addressed to the public or to the substantial segment of the public that needs or wants mortgage and foreclosure relief for the purpose of promoting the purchase or sale of services and for the purpose of obtaining property.

58. With each site, Defendants commit a separate continuing offense of deceptive business practices, NJS 2C:21-7(e) and (h).

59. On or about 12 January 2010, the securepropertysolutionsllc.com site went offline, perhaps temporarily, but Defendants have plenty of other sites, including the alternate and nearly identical securepropertysolutionsllc.net.

60. These sites and connections are not exhaustive, but are a representative sample of the means by which Defendants ensnare and defraud Plaintiffs, and are entirely consistent with innumerable other “debt elimination,” “credit repair,” “mortgage modification,” and “foreclosure rescue” scams operating today.

Named Plaintiffs’ Dealings with Defendants

61. Named Plaintiffs Michael and Dorothy Manuel, husband and wife, jointly owe a mortgage on their marital residence to Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc.

62. Named Plaintiffs are current on this mortgage but in or around May 2009 began to experience financial difficulty, to the point that they were not sure of being able to keep their mortgage current.

63. Named Plaintiffs tried on their own to convince Vanderbilt to reduce their required monthly mortgage payments, or even to change their payments to biweekly instead of monthly, but Vanderbilt refused.

64. Named Plaintiffs searched online for a debt consolidation company and came across the website of Secure Property Solutions, LLC on or about 14 June 2009.

65. On or about 17 June 2009, Mrs. Manuel filled out a questionnaire on the SPS site, giving her contact information and requesting a contact.

66. That same day, Scott, an employee or agent of Defendants whose last name is unknown, telephoned Named Plaintiffs from New Jersey to North Carolina.

67. Mrs. Manuel told Scott that they had tried to get Vanderbilt to reduce their payments, but had been unsuccessful.

68. Scott told Mrs. Manuel that even though Named Plaintiffs had not been able to arrange their own loan modification, if Named Plaintiffs paid $895.00 in advance, Scott could within 30 to 60 days “save you $300” or “reduce your payment $300” or reduce their mortgage payment from $909 to $609, or words to that effect.

69. In fact, Scott knew that no Defendant could do that, but said so anyway in order to convince Named Plaintiffs to give money to Defendants.

70. Defendants thus completed a separate offense of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C § 1343.

71. Defendants thus completed a separate offense of obtaining property by false pretenses, a Class H felony per NCGS § 14-100.

72. Defendants thus completed a separate offense of debt adjusting, a Class 2 misdemeanor per NCGS § 14-424.

73. Defendants thus completed a separate offense of deceptive business practices, NJS 2C:21-7(e) and (h).

74. Named Plaintiffs reasonably relied on Scott’s representations and gave Scott their debit card information over the telephone.

75. On or about 18 June 2009, the Law Office of Joseph A. Gembala III of Barrington NJ debited Named Plaintiffs’ State Employees Credit Union account for $895.00.

76. This money traveled across state lines by the interstate wires and thereby affected interstate commerce.

77. Defendants thus completed an offense of promotion money laundering, concealing or disguising the nature, location, ownership, or control of the proceeds of mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to launder money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i), (a)(1)(B)(i), and (h).

78. One or more Defendants dispatched from “Secure Property Solutions, LLC 208 White Horse Pike Suite 12 Barrington NJ 08007” to Named Plaintiffs in North Carolina a package by FedEx Standard Overnight delivery, tracking number 0201 7976 9451 0350, containing documents in furtherance of their scheme.

79. One document in this package was a purported certificate from the Better Business Bureau of New Jersey pronouncing Secure Property Solutions, LLC to be “an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau through July 2009”

80. This certification, if it ever existed, had expired at the time Defendants sent it to Named Plaintiffs, and was meant to inspire false confidence in Named Plaintiffs.

81. The purported certificate also claimed that SPS “is committed to maintaining ethical business practices in advertising, selling and consumer relations.”

82. This was a knowingly false statement because Defendants knew that SPS was and is committed to defrauding innocent consumers of money in return for no value.

83. Another document in the FedEx package was a “Check by Phone or Credit Card” authorization form headed “JOSEPH A. GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES” “Secure Property Solutions, LLC/ The Solution to All of Your Real Estate, Mortgage and Investment Needs” at “208 White Horse Pike, Suite 12, Barrington NJ 08007”and containing the following statements: “By my signature, I authorize Joseph A. Gembala, III, & Associates to process payments on my account using the above information.”; “ALL PAYMENTS ARE MADE PAYABLE TO: JOSEPH A. GEMBALA, III, & ASSOCIATES”; and “Please Note: Loan Modifications are a 90 to 120 day process.”

84. That last statement was knowingly false because Defendants knew that their alleged loan modifications are not a 90 to 120 day process, but never happen at all, and this statement was intended to lull Named Plaintiffs into unwarranted patience and thus keep Named Plaintiffs from demanding refunds or contacting a lawyer.

85. The documents in the FedEx package were all in furtherance of Defendants’ scheme, and completed a separate offense of mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1341.

86. On or about 06 July 2009, Kevin Malone, an agent or employee of Defendants, telephoned Named Plaintiffs from outside North Carolina and told Named Plaintiffs that he would be contacting Vanderbilt on behalf of Named Plaintiffs.

87. Named Plaintiffs filled out Defendants’ forms (headed “Joseph A. Gembala, III, & Associates” and “Secure Property Solutions, LLC”) such as income and expense statements and returned them to Defendants at Defendants’ requestby U.S. Mail on or about 28 July 2009, even though Defendants knew that these documents would not help Named Plaintiffs at all.

88. Defendants thus completed a separate offense of mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1341.

89. One or more Defendants telephoned across state lines to talk to Named Plaintiffs’ mortgagee, Vanderbilt, concerning Named Plaintiffs’ mortgage.

90. Vanderbilt telephoned Named Plaintiffs to say that it did not modify its mortgages, and that Defendants’efforts would be of no use.

91. Vanderbilt now includes a notice on its monthly bills to customers that it does not participate in loan modification programs and warns customers not to give money to people who promise to be able to modify mortgages.

92. Defendants’ activities had no effect on Named Plaintiffs’ mortgageprincipal or interest and did not lower their payment.

93. Kevin Malone told Named Plaintiffs, in response to their inquiries, that the modification was taking so long because Defendants had hundreds, if not thousands, of applications every month, and such things would take time.

94. In early October 2009, Scott telephoned Named Plaintiffs from outside North Carolina to say that he would be issuing a refund, but it would be slightly delayed by the upcoming Columbus Day holiday.

95. Scott in fact knew that no refund would be forthcoming, but falsely stated otherwise to reassure Named Plaintiffs and keep them from taking action.

96. This statement completed a separate offense of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343.

97. No Defendant ever refunded any of Named Plaintiffs’ money.

98. Named Plaintiffs repeatedly demanded a refund, so Scott telephoned from outside North Carolina to promise a check for the full amount soon after 11 November 2009.

99. Scott in fact knew that no refund would be forthcoming, but falsely stated otherwise to reassure Named Plaintiffs and keep them from taking action.

100. This statement completed a separate offense of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343.

101. The check never arrived.

102. In late November 2009, Named Plaintiffs notified Defendants that they had retained Counsel and would be filing suit unless Defendants refunded their money.

103. No Defendant ever contacted them again.

104. No Defendant has refunded any of Named Plaintiffs’ money.

Joseph Gembala, Esq. Sued for Loan Modification and Foreclosure Rescue Services. by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Chris Livingston

    Here are two neat things I found out today, although one of them is good news/bad news:

    The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has, in response to an agreed disciplinary petition between its Disciplinary Board and Joseph A. Gembala, has suspended his law license for two years, effective 25 October 2012. Here’s the link to the order http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/disciplinaryboard/dboardopinions/21DB2012-Gembala.pdf and I haven’t even read it all myself, since the whole thing is over 100 pages, but it should give us many hours of enjoyment. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that he won’t be making much money for awhile.

    Back in North Carolina, the state judge has FINALLY signed the order allowing the state case to go forward after five months of senseless delay. I’ll try to have it wrapped up at the next available court date, 17 December 2012, although I haven’t heard back from his lawyers as to what they want to do. Mostly I’m trying to get his insurance company to turn over its $300,000 policy limits and agree to class certification. So far, they’ve turned that down, in the odd belief that Joe did nothing wrong and they’ll win the case in the end. I don’t think even they can believe that now. Keep watching this space and if you haven’t already you need to apply to the Client Security Fund, like the folks did in last month’s post, and see if you can get back at least a little something in addition to what we can get from Joe directly.

    I’m really sorry it’s taken this long even to get this far, but corporate lawyers continue to amaze me with new ways of delaying things for the sake of delay, and judges continue to amaze me with how long it takes them to do the right thing. Let’s see how soon we can get it finished off for good.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    IMPORTANT UPDATE

    I received the following tip from a reader who was able to score a refund. Here is what they had to say:

    “After the closing of Secure Property Solutions, I had contacted many state agencies as well as the PA Lawyers Fund For Client Security. A year later, my case was finally heard and we are being refunded the entire amount that Joseph Gembala took from us with promise to modify our mortgage. Anyone in this situation should contact the PA Lawyers Fund For Client Security and send them as much documentation that you have.”

    The website for this fund is http://www.palawfund.com

  • Chris Livingston

    At long last, this morning the federal judge ruled that our case against Mike Malone can proceed, because we more than showed there’s a serious nationwide problem here.  I’ll be conferring with Mike to plan out the rest of the case, and I’ll be asking to certify a class so we can take care of everybody at least a little bit.  The state case against Joe should get unstopped very soon, and I’ve asked the court for sanctions against his lawyers for intentionally delaying things.  The courts have given them every break in the book and playtime is over.  Again, I’m not at all sure how much money we can return to 1,008 affected families, or when, but we’ll do everything possible.  Sorry it’s taken so long.

    Some of you, probably a lot of you, have gotten letters from the New Jersey Attorney General saying Joe went bankrupt, etc.  That’s not true.  They screwed it up by not suing Joe personally, instead naming “Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates LLC,” which doesn’t exist, and “Secure Property Solutions LLC,” which hasn’t had any money since probably January 2010, and in fact that’s how they got law enforcement attention in the first place, by bouncing payroll checks all over Barrington NJ.  Well, at least they did some investigative work for us that will make our state case a little easier to prove.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Chris,

      That’s good news for consumers. Thanks for the update.

  • Chris Livingston

    Hey everybody, great news! (only a year and a half late, thanks to our slow court, but let’s concentrate on the positive)  The federal judge has allowed our case to go forward with the new simpler complaint and will consider class certification after Joe and crew have answered.  We might could get it to trial in about a year, but maybe Joe’s insurance company will decide to accept reality and resolve it so we can get at least some recompense.

    Also, I’ll be working on the state appeal this weekend.

    I’ve heard from several people that the New Jersey Attorney General has sent out complaint forms to all Secure Property Solutions customers they could find in the records.  This is an extremely good sign, although again, it should have been done some time ago.  Hope this makes everybody feel a bit better.  Be back soon, Chris L.

    • DParks

      Anything new to report since your last post from July of 2011?
      We were one of those ‘customers’ who was contacted by the NJ AG with a complaint form. Completed that process immediately and have never heard anything back. If nothing else, do you know how we can contact them to check on the status of their part in this?
      D&G Parks
      Indpls, IN

  • Chris Livingston

    Crapola.  The state judge just let us know he’s going to stay the state case to see how the federal one goes.  Never mind that the statute in question expressly says the other side has to CONSENT to suit in the other court, which Joe didn’t–he’s fighting it tooth and nail–that’s the decision for now.  I think the state legislature should write statutes that say the exact opposite of what they want to happen, because North Carolina state judges always do the exact opposite of what the law says.

    So we gotta appeal that one, and hope the federal judge puts our original case back in.  It’s been months without a decision, which is standard procedure in federal court here.  Joe and his lawyers may think they’re getting away with it, but they are only making me more determined, and we will carry on until we get justice.  I never, ever start fights … but I always, always finish them.

  • Chris Livingston

    Crapola.  The state judge just let us know he’s going to stay the state case to see how the federal one goes.  Never mind that the statute in question expressly says the other side has to CONSENT to suit in the other court, which Joe didn’t–he’s fighting it tooth and nail–that’s the decision for now.  I think the state legislature should write statutes that say the exact opposite of what they want to happen, because North Carolina state judges always do the exact opposite of what the law says.

    So we gotta appeal that one, and hope the federal judge puts our original case back in.  It’s been months without a decision, which is standard procedure in federal court here.  Joe and his lawyers may think they’re getting away with it, but they are only making me more determined, and we will carry on until we get justice.  I never, ever start fights … but I always, always finish them.

  • Chris Livingston

    Another update–

    We’ll have a hearing on 23 May in the state case against Joe. I’ll be asking for final summary judgment, that is, a ruling that we win the case without having to go to a jury because no important facts are in any real dispute. Joe’s lawyers will likely argue that the case should be stayed because of the pending federal case, but as it stands, the federal judge still hasn’t ruled on our motion to reinstate the complaint against Joe (after dismissing it without prejudice for no better reason than the judge thought the original complaint was too long and she didn’t want to read it–never mind that U.S. Attorneys submit 96-page indictments without a problem) so strictly speaking, there ISN’T a federal case against Joe at the moment.

    If we don’t get final judgment that day, I’ll ask for an order while the case is pending that Joe be civilly arrested in lieu of $1,288,000 bond, which is the amount that passed through his trust account. Maybe that will inspire some action on his part.

    Still, also, no word on criminal prosecution or asset freezes. I really thought all that would have been taken care of by now, but nope, not yet. It’s coming, though.

  • Chris Livingston

    Another update–

    We’ll have a hearing on 23 May in the state case against Joe. I’ll be asking for final summary judgment, that is, a ruling that we win the case without having to go to a jury because no important facts are in any real dispute. Joe’s lawyers will likely argue that the case should be stayed because of the pending federal case, but as it stands, the federal judge still hasn’t ruled on our motion to reinstate the complaint against Joe (after dismissing it without prejudice for no better reason than the judge thought the original complaint was too long and she didn’t want to read it–never mind that U.S. Attorneys submit 96-page indictments without a problem) so strictly speaking, there ISN’T a federal case against Joe at the moment.

    If we don’t get final judgment that day, I’ll ask for an order while the case is pending that Joe be civilly arrested in lieu of $1,288,000 bond, which is the amount that passed through his trust account. Maybe that will inspire some action on his part.

    Still, also, no word on criminal prosecution or asset freezes. I really thought all that would have been taken care of by now, but nope, not yet. It’s coming, though.

  • Andy

    I wish I could track my friend’s cell phone msgs. I guess they talk about me behind my back. lol. Maybe someday I would be able to do that. Is this cell phone tracking online software any good? I am planning to buy it.

  • Chris Livingston

    Here’s a bit of an update–

    We’re still waiting for the federal judge to decide whether to allow an amended complaint that she thinks she can read through faster. This should happen before too long. The case is NOT forgotten about, not by me, but our federal court here is very very slow. And there are other judges who are even slower!

    I can also now reveal there’s a backup lawsuit in North Carolina state court against Joe, again with Mike and Dorothy Manuel as lead plaintiffs. We should have a hearing of some sort on whether the case can go forward within a month. He didn’t contest jurisdiction in North Carolina.

    If neither of those work, I think I’ve found a friend in New Jersey to help us out. Surprisingly, no word on a criminal case against Joe or any of his crew. That can’t be too much longer, either.

  • Chris Livingston

    Here’s a bit of an update–

    We’re still waiting for the federal judge to decide whether to allow an amended complaint that she thinks she can read through faster. This should happen before too long. The case is NOT forgotten about, not by me, but our federal court here is very very slow. And there are other judges who are even slower!

    I can also now reveal there’s a backup lawsuit in North Carolina state court against Joe, again with Mike and Dorothy Manuel as lead plaintiffs. We should have a hearing of some sort on whether the case can go forward within a month. He didn’t contest jurisdiction in North Carolina.

    If neither of those work, I think I’ve found a friend in New Jersey to help us out. Surprisingly, no word on a criminal case against Joe or any of his crew. That can’t be too much longer, either.

  • Parks

    Same here. Wondering where this stands as of now? This is getting very lengthy at this point. Realize it’s not something that can be taken care of overnight but not getting any updates makes me nervous that all of us have been forgotten and are out of luck.
    Parks
    Indpls, IN

  • Lou

    PISS OFF “WANNA HELP”!!!

  • Tiggmiester

    Chris,

    What is the status of the lawsuit with Gembala these days? Last thing I saw was on 9/30/10?

  • golam M shahabuddin

    do i need to sue them? or how can i get back my money? my name is golam shahabuddin, living in queens, NY

  • golam M shahabuddin

    do i need to sue them? or how can i get back my money? my name is golam shahabuddin, living in queens, NY

  • Lisa

    I will join the class if you are looking for other victims who were taken. In my case, the bank denied my loan modification and they have $1800 of my money.

  • Mystical11275

    I havent heard a peep out of anything on this since spring. I get on here to see whats goin on and find out the creep is gonna get away with this! He took 2500 of my money on top of losing my house and the jerk is gonna get away with this???? I guess its ok to run people in the ground and take their money.

  • Hate Scammers

    Please post the judge’s written opinion letting Joe out of the case.

  • Lisa

    Sounds like the skum bucket is going to get away with his little scam! Figures, those who do the least reap the most benefits from those of us who have trusted him to do as he said ….. quick buck for no work!

  • Chris Livingston

    Bad news first–the judge threw out our case against Joe himself, saying that my complaint was too long, complicated, and “tortured” to figure out within a reasonable time, and she wasn’t going to “wade through” it. Also she denied class certification for failure to prove numerosity, that is, if 14 affidavits was all I got, then that doesn’t show the 40 or so we need to make a large enough class. Well okeydoke, she is the judge, so I need to fix things.

    The good news is, the dismissal wasn’t “with prejudice” and therefore I can rewrite it shorter and see if that goes over better. We also got evidence from Joe of more than 1,000 people involved, and his trust account records show more than $1.2 million going through his hands.

    And Chris Frisch and Mike Malone weren’t dismissed, although I’ll have to rewrite the complaint as to them too.

    Plus I’m far from out of ideas. This isn’t the beginning of the end, but it’s the end of the beginning. Thanks extremely lots for everybody’s support. It means so much. Catch you again soon, Chris L.

  • Chris Livingston

    Bad news first–the judge threw out our case against Joe himself, saying that my complaint was too long, complicated, and “tortured” to figure out within a reasonable time, and she wasn’t going to “wade through” it. Also she denied class certification for failure to prove numerosity, that is, if 14 affidavits was all I got, then that doesn’t show the 40 or so we need to make a large enough class. Well okeydoke, she is the judge, so I need to fix things.

    The good news is, the dismissal wasn’t “with prejudice” and therefore I can rewrite it shorter and see if that goes over better. We also got evidence from Joe of more than 1,000 people involved, and his trust account records show more than $1.2 million going through his hands.

    And Chris Frisch and Mike Malone weren’t dismissed, although I’ll have to rewrite the complaint as to them too.

    Plus I’m far from out of ideas. This isn’t the beginning of the end, but it’s the end of the beginning. Thanks extremely lots for everybody’s support. It means so much. Catch you again soon, Chris L.

    • Lisa

      Sounds like the skum bucket is going to get away with his little scam! Figures, those who do the least reap the most benefits from those of us who have trusted him to do as he said ….. quick buck for no work!

    • Hate Scammers

      Please post the judge’s written opinion letting Joe out of the case.

      • Mystical11275

        I havent heard a peep out of anything on this since spring. I get on here to see whats goin on and find out the creep is gonna get away with this! He took 2500 of my money on top of losing my house and the jerk is gonna get away with this???? I guess its ok to run people in the ground and take their money.

    • Lisa

      I will join the class if you are looking for other victims who were taken. In my case, the bank denied my loan modification and they have $1800 of my money.

    • Tiggmiester

      Chris,

      What is the status of the lawsuit with Gembala these days? Last thing I saw was on 9/30/10?

      • Parks

        Same here. Wondering where this stands as of now? This is getting very lengthy at this point. Realize it’s not something that can be taken care of overnight but not getting any updates makes me nervous that all of us have been forgotten and are out of luck.
        Parks
        Indpls, IN

  • golam

    what is the latest update? when i will get my money back? and how

  • golam

    what is the latest update? when i will get my money back? and how

  • Tonya Manning

    I was also scamed…what can i do

  • Tonya Manning

    I was also scamed…what can i do

  • Chris Livingston

    Hello again!

    Been getting a few calls and emails asking how it’s going and if there’s anything new. Mike Malone popped up and filed his own answer without a lawyer, or tried to–he’s already been defaulted and the judge will have to grant permission for him to contest the case. Even if she lets him back in, he’s toast because he has no defense whatsoever other than blaming everybody else around him. This won’t work.

    Mostly, STILL, we’re waiting for the judge to decide several motions, including whether to certify a class. I’m expecting a decision literally any minute now and I’ll post the results as soon as I hear them. If this one doesn’t work, we’ll try again with the next volunteer. And again and again, if necessary. The criminal investigation is motoring along under the radar and we should see some action on that front in a few months. Watch this space, see you later, Chris L.

  • Chris Livingston

    Hello again!

    Been getting a few calls and emails asking how it’s going and if there’s anything new. Mike Malone popped up and filed his own answer without a lawyer, or tried to–he’s already been defaulted and the judge will have to grant permission for him to contest the case. Even if she lets him back in, he’s toast because he has no defense whatsoever other than blaming everybody else around him. This won’t work.

    Mostly, STILL, we’re waiting for the judge to decide several motions, including whether to certify a class. I’m expecting a decision literally any minute now and I’ll post the results as soon as I hear them. If this one doesn’t work, we’ll try again with the next volunteer. And again and again, if necessary. The criminal investigation is motoring along under the radar and we should see some action on that front in a few months. Watch this space, see you later, Chris L.

  • Chris Livingston

    Sure, it’s called an “admonishment” and is the lowest possible slap on the wrist they have. No aggravators, eight mitigators, including “lack of dishonesty or selfish motive.” Claims that I’m about to be disbarred ARE defamatory because they are untrue.

    Your campaign isn’t working. I have all the business I can handle. People like me because I help them. People hate you because you defraud them and ruin their lives. You don’t even have the courage to identify yourself like I do. Keep buying cereal, and in the bottom of some box will be three or four more Air Medals to add to the ones you falsely claim to have.

  • Robin

    Just wondering chris if there is any new news on the case? everytime i think about this makes my blood boil! i keep watching the news for any information about these pieces of you know what, thanks for all your help with this.

  • Robin

    Just wondering chris if there is any new news on the case? everytime i think about this makes my blood boil! i keep watching the news for any information about these pieces of you know what, thanks for all your help with this.

  • Erik D

    Chris Livingston — we’re with you and I hope you get these guys for all the money they have taken from every single person they scammed. Keep it up. Go get ‘em tiger.

  • chris

    Chris Livingston: You can’t “defame” a person with the truth. You were sanctioned by the North Carolina Bar — that is public record. You attack anyone who brings up that fact on other websites. Assuming that I am one of your targets is just paranoia. I have no connection to you other than finding your vitriol offensive.

    • Chris Livingston

      Sure, it’s called an “admonishment” and is the lowest possible slap on the wrist they have. No aggravators, eight mitigators, including “lack of dishonesty or selfish motive.” Claims that I’m about to be disbarred ARE defamatory because they are untrue.

      Your campaign isn’t working. I have all the business I can handle. People like me because I help them. People hate you because you defraud them and ruin their lives. You don’t even have the courage to identify yourself like I do. Keep buying cereal, and in the bottom of some box will be three or four more Air Medals to add to the ones you falsely claim to have.

  • http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/28399-nc-christopher-livingston-1744345.html Chris

    Watch out people, Chris Livingston is notorious for scamming clients and filing frivolous lawsuits! Look at his AVVO rating where he has been sanctioned by the state of North Carolina for professional misconduct!

    http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/28399-nc-christopher-livingston-1744345.html

    • http://www.fairdebtlawyer.com Chris Livingston

      Scamming clients … frivolous lawsuits … untrue and slanderous. Ask my clients, or maybe they’ll be along pretty soon to tell you what they think. Of course, you must be one of the people I’m suing, so I can’t sue YOU for defamation. Judicial immunity, y’know. I’ll just have to content myself with (1) taking every penny you own and giving it back to those you scammed it from, less the agreed contingent fee, and (2) seeing you indicted, arrested, jailed, tried, sentenced, and imprisoned for what you did to innocent people. Enjoy your day; enjoy your life. =o)

  • http://www.fairdebtlawyer.com Chris Livingston

    Hi everybody,

    I’ll be meeting with Joe’s lawyers on Friday 16 June to plan out the rest of the case. By then they’ll have e-files of all documents that I haven’t already filed with the court. It ought to be dead-bang clear that there’s absolutely no defense and no hope, and Joe needs to repay as much as he can as soon as he can, before his assets get frozen and eventually forfeited after he’s convicted. But who knows what delusions Joe’s side is still laboring under. If they won’t accept reality, then we’ll just drive on and let the court do its thing. I’ll let everybody know what I can as soon as I can.

    • http://www.fairdebtlawyer.com Chris Livingston

      Met with Joe’s lawyers in Raleigh today and we’re going to do discovery over the next few months, with a target trial date less than a year from today. Needless to say, I’ll do everything I can to get the case wrapped up much sooner than that, before law enforcement swoops in and takes all his records and assets. Joe still shows no sign of accepting responsibility (“I know you found the drugs in my pocket, Officer, but see, these aren’t my pants”), so we’ll just take care of him the hard way.

  • http://www.fairdebtlawyer.com Chris Livingston

    Hey everybody!

    Pretty good news. The judge hasn’t actually decided the pending motions yet, but today she entered an order for me and Joe’s lawyers to meet and plan discovery for the rest of the case, which includes each side turning over relevant documents without specific requests. This means most likely the judge is at least going to deny Joe’s motion to dismiss the case, and if she does, then just maybe she’ll grant our motion to certify a class–that’s all of y’all–or even freeze Joe’s assets.

    I’m going to push this as hard and fast as I can, with a trial date early next year. However, I doubt a trial will be necessary because there’s already enough evidence to prove Joe liable for damages, and all we need then is his records showing who paid what. Hope this improves everybody’s day. See you later, Chris L.

    • Lisa

      Chris,

      This is very good news. Thank you so much for taking an interest in everyone’s concerns and pushing this matter as hard as you have been. I know people, including myself, are very frustrated with this entire scam … even moreso with Joe Gembala’s outright refusal to accept any type of responsibility for his actions. I for one am very grateful that you are in our corner and trying to do something on behalf of us all. I trust you received the affidavit I sent you some time back as well. Take care and thank you again.

  • JW in Phoenix

    I realize that everyone is ‘fighting-mad’ about being scammed by Gembala and are anxiously awaiting a possible resolution of some sorts due to all of the hard work put in by Chris Livingston, but could everyone please take a breath after leaving a post and then use spell check. It is extremely aggravating to try to read and digest what the heck many of you are even trying to state. Thanks in advance for understanding that I am not judging anyone or trying to insult anyone but come one people…didn’t we all go to some sort of school!

  • Gina

    I have an FHA and lots of equity…I got laid off last July 2009, and called BofA several times in july and after but they wouldn’t work with me. I called HUD local offices and they took down my info and never return help. I emailed HUD several times through following months and got one respond that they are not accepting packets. I was forced to go to an attorney whom charged me for helping me for submitting a packet mortgage modification and I waited. My home was up for auction and I met by referral a paralegal that stated he worked for an attorney whom will file my chapter 13. I paid him. He filed me as Pro-per my ch13 was dismissed. This paralegal told me this is normal that the court will dismiss and don’t worry. I found out I had not attorney and he wasn’t a paralegal. My bank told me to send in paperwork for modification during this time and later I checked and they said I wasn’t in foreclosure anymore. I called a couple of days later and found out my home was up for auction the next day. Both attorneys said I didn’t have to make my mortgage payments and I faxed over to them about papers I received in mail and asked in email if these are something to worry about. My home went up for auction now and broker bought it and I have to sell my home and walk away with very little money. What can I do? Can I get an Attorney to help me? I will be meeting to sign papers to sell today with broker…please please help….

  • jerilyn

    What do I need to do to be involved, since we also gave money and havent heard from anyone since Nov2009?

  • jerilyn

    i paid 1895 last april for loan mod. What do I need to do to get involved in the lawsuit and etc? I have been trying to reach them by phone and email since Nov 2009. Hope you can help.

  • golam

    how do i submit my address to attorney?

  • shahad

    i just talked to joseph A gembala associates 1800 number and finally some one pick up the phone and she sound so sorry to hear that and she gave me a number to call, its secure home solutions’s attorney number, if u guys want, u can talk to the person

    elaine petruggeilo (attorney of secure home solutions)
    1856-235-2212

  • billy

    We started the loan mod process in sept 2009 when we were contacted by marty rothenberg offering us a money back garuntee that we would get a modification. After months of sending information and getting the run around by secure property solutions we stopped being contacted alltogether. Two weeks of calling numbers and emailing with no replys I finally got an answer from Trans World telling me that the Gemballa and secure property solutions had gone insolvent and they would be taking over. that was february and still no real results except now we are 3 months behind and getting threatening letters. Im out 2grand can we still get in on the lawsuit?

  • Johnnah Crocker

    Another address for them
    3325 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 501 Hollywood, FL 33021
    Again, hope this helps!!! :)

  • Johnnah Crocker

    I was called from 954-391-6890 at 1:55 am on May 22, 2010 by a company calling themselves Safe something, anyway, they claimed my atm card was suspended and I needed to re-activate it by entering my 16 digit number. I entered in a bogus number & they said please carefully enter your 16 digit number, the number you entered is not in our database. After 3 times of me entering in a bogus number, they said they did not recognize it and said goodbye. I called right back & the recording said they were Trans World Management Group & (of course) the business hours were Monday through Friday yada yada yada. I left a message informing them I was reporting them to as many companies & web-sites as I could. I did a reverse look-up, which said they were in Hollywood, Florida, so I filed a complaint with the BBB & they said the name was hope4yourhome.com. They ARE still in the business. They ARE still scamming people, except this time they are apparently getting people’s ATM numbers & stealing funds.
    The info BBB of Southeast Fl & the Caribbean provided is below. Please feel FREE to use it! :)
    Hope4YouHome.com, Inc.
    1550 NE Miami Gardens Dr., Suite 305
    North Miami Beach, FL 33179
    Tel: (954) 391-6890
    Fax: (954) 391-6675
    Web Site: http://www.hope4yourhome.com
    Contact: Martain Rothenberg – Owner
    Business Start Date: 12/9/2008
    Company ID: 92016660
    Nature of Business: This company’s business is Loan Modification and Debt Settlement.
    I hope they get EXACTLY what they deserve & all of you get your money back. I wish I could help more. A Bing.com search of the website name led me here. Blessings & Luck to all of you!

  • Lisa

    Hello,

    Anyone heard from Chris Livingston lately? Seems he was gung-ho in the beginning but now has gotten very quiet. Does anyone know if he is still pursuing this case?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Yes he is. I just have not posted the latest court documents.

      Steve

    • http://www.fairdebtlawyer.com Chris Livingston

      Yes, I’m still very very gung-ho about this one! A few things are going on behind the scenes that I might be able to talk about before long. Mostly, we’re just in a lull after the last round of motions filed in court, and we’re waiting for the judge to decide those. Joe’s lawyers are still giving me the silent treatment, as if this will get them on my good side, or maybe they really think they’ll win this one. For Joe, you see, didn’t do NOTHIN. In fact, the whole thing may well all be MY fault and there aren’t more than 40 victims (courts have ruled this number is enough to make a class), cause I’m just stirring up trouble at GetOutOfDebt, and “it is entirely unclear whether there have in fact been forty-one (41) different individuals who posted the comments about the defendants found there or whether one or two individuals made up a number of aliases and used them to post a series of messages on the website.” Direct quote. Joe also says that because I put on my timesheet/fee invoice that I talked with at least 60 of you for an average of 18 minutes each, somehow this is evidence that there’s just not enough people to form a class. yup. I only work here, I don’t ask questions.

      I have until 19 May to reply to their stuff, and if they don’t start talking about some kind of global solution, they’ll get some new stuff they won’t like at all, in addition to a reply.

      Regardless of what happens and how fast in our civil case, I can garontee y’all, law enforcement is working very steadily on this whole operation, and we’ll see something in the news in the not-so-far future. It takes awhile to prepare a bulletproof criminal case, but it will happen. Anybody who hasn’t called Capt. Catts, then go right ahead. Keep watching this space!

  • Rebecca Beresin

    Ijust wanted to say to any clients that I personally helped that I am truly sorry. I know that it was out of my control and I din’t personally comeinto this business to be a part of some scam. I just would not wish this on anybody. What Michael Malone and Chris Frish did was horrible and after they had made the choice to close the doors, I was there to try to help save the clients. I am truly sorry for everything!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Rebecca,

      Thank you for the courage to post this message.

      Steve

  • Michelle Hennessy

    I also would like in on this suit. I am a single mother who went through a series of lost jobs and trusted in SPS to help me get back on track and keep my home. I was promised the lower payment and even lower interest rate. Instead I was just given the run around. I did somehow manage to get my money back from SPS, however by that time it was too late to save my home. Please email and let me know if it is too late and if not, what I need to do. I plan on calling that Chris Livingston tomorrow morning.

  • http://Website Joseph Gembala

    Dear Steve:
    I have been made aware of your website regarding the problems with Secure Property Solutions, and wanted your readers to have a chance to view the letter we will be sending to their former clients who have called my office.

    LETTER TO SECURE PROPERTY SOLUTIONS CLIENTS

    Re: Secure Property Solutions, LLC

    Dear

    I understand you have inquired about the status of your mortgage modification through Secure Property Solutions. I want you to know and understand that I acted only as the attorney for the company. As noted above, the actual company doing the modification was Secure Property Solutions. There were four principals who were responsible for the operation and who shared in the profits of the enterprise. Their names are Michael J. Malone, Kevin Malone, Christopher J. Frisch, and Ernesto Ranieri, and the only address I have for them is the office address they used at 208 White Horse Pike, Barrington, NJ 08007. They have failed to provide me with any way to communicate with or contact them, and I have to assume that is the reason why all telephone calls and correspondence have been directed to my attention.

    It is my understanding that Secure Property Solutions had been in operation for some time before they solicited my representation. My representation of them commenced in early April of 2009. They engaged me to act as their attorney for the company as they were required to have New Jersey counsel.

    I feel you should know that I was never involved in the operation of the company, nor did I receive any profits from the company. I was paid for my representation of them as counsel, which included establishing an escrow fund where client payments were received and then transferred to Secure Property Solutions for processing.

    That was my total and complete involvement in that enterprise. Once I discovered that the company appeared to be in dire financial straits, I attempted to assist them in obtaining bank financing so they could continue to transact business in order to complete the remaining and outstanding work, and pay their employees to do so. However, I must acknowledge that I was unsuccessful in obtaining the financing that they sought.

    When their efforts to obtain financing failed to materialize, I attempted to obtain all the files and computers which held information regarding their client accounts in order to retain some of their employees, at my own expense, to complete the work they had begun, with the intention of taking on no additional mortgage modifications. The principals refused to cooperate in this to the extent that they called the local police to have me barred from the building. Because of their refusal to cooperate with me in my attempts to complete the transactions, there is nothing more that I am able to do.

    I invite you to contact the principals named above, but it appears that they have no funds to apply to the completion of your transaction. I further note that I can give you no address or telephone number to contact them as they seem to have lowered their profile to be invisible. I once again want you to know that this situation is not of my making as I had no interest in the business or input into its operation.

    I hope you will accept my apologies for any confusion that may have been created by the four principals as to my role as counsel for the company. I feel it is necessary for me to explain to you what has happened. Needless to say, I am cooperating with all agencies and authorities who have contacted me in regard to the investigations that have been commenced into the operations of Secure Property Solutions.

    Very truly yours,

    JOSEPH A. GEMBALA, III

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Mr. Gembala,

      I just read the most recent affidavits in the suit against you over this matter. It certainly appears those people believed you were actively involved in representing them and they believed they were paying you or your firm.

      I appreciate the fact you feel you have been duped by SPS but what legal action have you taken against Secure Property Solutions and the individuals you mentioned? I would think if you have been as wronged as you say you would have filed suit to go after them and clear your name.

      Are you willing to furnish any information you can to help consumers go after SPS and the individuals involved?

      I humbly suggest that we need you out in front of this leading the charge, not behind the front line apologizing.

      Steve

    • Jerry

      It seems to me Mr. Gembala, that if you did for sure commenced your represetation in April of 2009 to SPS, then why would allow SPS to still use your Firms name on all forms that we recived in October of 2009? whats up with that?

    • Lisa

      Mr. Gembala,

      It is very hard for me to believe that you were “duped” by SPS when the automatic withdraws on my bank statements clearly say that “The Law Office of Joseph Gembala” was the one who withdrew the funds. Sorry, not buying that you were duped by these guys. I am more inclined to believe that you are hiding behind something and now that you are caught you are doing whatever necessary to not have to pay the piper for your dance, so to speak.

    • Amy

      Mr. Gembala,

      As soon as you are able to provide proof that the funds that were debited from my account were transferred to SPS, I will not hold you personally culpable for the money that was stolen from me. I had the funds directly debited, and the description on my transaction was linked to your office, not at all to SPS. Also, all paperwork, which I still have, states that payments need to be made to your office. I am holding you 100% responsible for my money being taken with no result. I only spoke with one representative from SPS, while I spoke with several people from your firm. I received phone calls from your firm apprising me of the status of our modification request, and received all necessary paperwork from your firm, not from SPS. For all intents and purposes I cannot see why you and your firm should not be wholely liable for the funds that I, as of this point, have not been able to recuperate. I will be joining the class action suit against you as soon as possible, and do not believe that you feel you have no responsibility for what has happened.

  • http://Website kelly brackin

    Please somebody email me and tell me what i can do, it’s not all about the money at this point, WITH US, THE PRINCIPAL is the major thing. i knew better to trust these animals, but i called myself researching them also. what good is the bbb if you can’t trust them either. and by the way, i went to the hope site and they are the ones that told me sps are the ones i needed to contact. i still have every website and faxes from all. please someone email me and tell me what to do. [email protected] thank you,

  • http://Website Ernest

    I would also like in on this lawsuit and I hope I am not too late to get in on it. They got $2495.00 from me. Meredith Washington,Rebecca Beresin, and Timothy Weers were the contact people. I contacted the Barrington Police and I will fax affidavit by tomorrow if that is still open to do so. Thanks so much for you who are heading up this lawsuit – you’re life savers!

  • http://Website Betty- Florida

    I am retired and on a fixed income and in need of help… I got scammed out of $1,095.00 by these people.. they switched me around from person to person as my negotiators: Veronica Morales, Meredith Washington,Rebecca Beresin,Josh Kelly & Kim Martucci.
    I have just found out this week that this is a scam and they are being sued, I need to get in on the lawsuit. Please help.

  • http://Website Lana

    I would like in on the lawsuit also, they got $1795.00 from me.

  • http://Website Marilyn Madus

    I am a single Mom who has been taken for 1900.00 by Gembala and Assoc…leading me to believe that I can trust them to help me with a loan modification or I will receive a full refund. I want to be part of any class action suit against Gembala and Assoc. This has been a very upsetting situation causing me sleepless nights and daily fustration.

  • http://Website Chris Livingston

    Hey everybody,

    Here’s a heads-up! some of you may be getting calls from law enforcement, especially the Barrington Police Department. Any of you who haven’t called Barrington, Capt. Ed Catts is your go-to guy, 856 546 0031.

    As far as the civil suit is going, the motions filed so far are just awaiting decision by the judge. I’ll likely be filing another one this week, and I’ve been saving up your papers, emails, and affidavits for it.

    Other things are happening, quietly for now, but happening. We’ll get these guys–oh, will we ever. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

  • http://Website Elaine

    We paid $1295 to Joseph Gembala asof January 2010 payments were completed, We can not reach our contact Jessica Vandergrift at the Barrington NJ office I have the 2 e-mails she had sent us and the wire transfer info I can get from the bank. My house in now for Public Sale. How can I fix this and Sue Joseph at the same time.

    I would like to join the class action suet against joseph Gembala III and the Secure Property Solutions companies. This is not a joke to me I have 3 young kids and in need of help.

  • http://Website Lisa

    Chris,

    Is anything happening now that people are starting to respond (myself included) and sending you information and affidavits. I have not seen or heard anything from you since I talked to you and sent you the information. Thanks.

  • http://Website Lisa

    Does anyone know if Liz Monoghan is still around? She has my paperwork and all of my personal information.

    • Sonia

      As far as I know Liz Monoghan was fired. Liz was working on my loan modification when my home went into foreclosure. She promised me I wouldnt lose my home, but needless to say My home was sold in an auction on Oct 13, 2009. I had spoken to Liz on Oct 22,2009 and she insured me that she was negotiating the payment amount with my morgage company. How is that possible if my home was already Sold? She was all full of lies and BS. Had i not called my morgage company myself i would of been served with a 3 day Notice of quit to get out of my home without any knowledge of my home being sold in the auction. My morgage company also informed me that they had never recieved any paperwork for any kind of loan modification. I was 6 months pregnant and had to move out of my home within a week. I had no home to live in, My husband and I along with my 3 kids had to go live with a friend for about 3 weeks until we found a place to live. It was a total NIGHTMARE! My children did not have a christmas.. How do u explain that to your children? They were emotionally disturb of the fact that they had to move and on top of that they had not one gift to open for christmas… After losing my home i wrote a letter to SPS asking them for my full refund. I was very fortunate to have recieved my full refund back, but i would have rather lost my refund instead of my home. When you think you have it bad just remember someone else has it worst. I did. I pray that all of you get your refund money back and then some. . . I know God doesnt like ugly so all those people involved in this scam will pay for their wrong doings some way or another. Did anyone else lose their home?

      • Michelle

        Yes I also lost my home 10 days before Christmas. I was also fortunate to get my money back from SPS, but I would still rather my home. I had to move a 4 bedroom home of 11 years into a tiny 2 bedroom home. It was horrible, I had to basically get rid of just about everything and uproot my daughter just before Christmas. I was fortunate to have a friend that had rentals but the first rental that we moved into ended up having a leaky roof real bad. This ended up putting my daughter in the hospital for her asthma. We are now in a better rental but am having to pay alot more.

        My mortgage company also said that they had never heard of or seen any paperwork from SPS and I tried to reconcile myself with the mortgage company at that point but it was just too late. I truly pray for anyone involved in this wrong doing and that SPS gets everything that is coming to them. They should all burn!!

  • http://[email protected] Namerobin

    does anyone if jamie butler is still around? she has our paperwork also has anyone seen any of this on the news or in a newspaper in nj or pa?

    • http://Website pat

      All of us that got scammed by these wonderful people at secure property solutions need to contact BARRINGTON NJ police dept,(856-547-3350) they are heading up criminal investigations against all the players at SPS. The more people come forward the bigger the case against these scumbags.

      • http://Website Lana

        Thanks for the infor, I will call right now
        and add my name to the investigation

  • http://Website Lola Arenivar

    This nightmare also happen to my mother, on 9/2/2009 we talked with Skip Weakland he was at that time and no longer there a Senior Mitigation Consultant, there was also a person name Jamie Butler Negotiator I don’t even know if these sick people were using they’re real names. Cons spamming my mother for $1295.00 and not one person contact neither her nor her bank, it’s been six months, I did call the number my mother had and was told “SORRY NO LONGER DOING BUSINESS DO TO BEING SUED”. I ask what about my mother’s refund “SORRY” I just like to know how one gets up in the morning knowing that they have taken from so many people and to have to live with this is so sick a human being can do this. Still my mother is in need of help and now not trusting anyone who and where can she go for that help. Like all of you, my mother wants her money back! Sorry that this has happen to all of us, wanted help and now having to deal with this…

  • http://Website Namerobin

    does anyone know if jamie butler is around still and if she still has her files ? also has anyone seen this in the newspaper or on the news in pa or nj?

  • http://Website Lisa

    Chris,

    Is it too late to get in on your lawsuit? Does it matter what state you reside in? I have lost money, time and frustration on this matter. I have contacted the BBB but Gembala did not respond. I wrote to him myself, but did not respond. I have filed an attorney grevience complaint in both PA and NJ – have no idea what will come of that. I am most definitely interested it providing you with an affidavit ……. is it too late? These guys have to be stopped somehow and pay for what they have done to those who trusted them.

  • http://Website scammed by sps

    http://www.securepropertysolutionsllc.net/

    here are some more documents that I have found. we were scammed in a different way. They goyt us in a sale/leaseback. They really got bank of America because they haven’t paid the mortgage in god knows how long. Now the house is in Forclosure I am assuming but they will not tell me anything. I have spoken to the owner who told me that she has 3 properties in forclosure now she actually expected me to catch up on the mortgage which is BS because we sent it to SPS and they did god knows what with it. I hope that you guys get them and they go to jail for a very very long time!!

  • Hate Scammers

    Chris Livingston:

    You might not have this document:

    http://securepropertysolutionsllc.net/documents/Loan_mod_script_and_bullet_points.doc

    Some of your clients and others who were scammed may have been told the lies contained in this “sales pitch” script.

    It can be found here:
    http://securepropertysolutionsllc.net/documents/

  • Cristal Miranda

    Also, the BBB offers this address to try and get compensation or to file a complaint:

    State Office of Consumer Protection
    124 Halsey Street
    Newark, NJ 07102
    Tel: 973 504-6200
    Fax: 973 648-3538
    http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp/ocpform.htm

    • http://Website LIsa

      I filed a complaint with the BBB of NJ, however, Gembala did not respond so they closed my complaint.

      • http://Website Lana

        I tried to file a complaint and the BBB of NJ or
        the BBB of Eastern PA said they could not find either
        name listed in the business section, so I could not file
        any suggestions?

  • Cristal Miranda

    Hello all,

    I too was a processor/”negotiator” at SPS…I can assure you that all of us processors truly believed we were being helpful…and, it should be noted, that more than just one person was given a modification, I have at least 30 clients of my own that were helped, and the other processors there each had at least that many–and many of the sales staff (some of whom were sexually harassed and bullied into doing what they were told to keep their jobs) were also trying to be truly helpful…someone pointed out that many didn’t have prior mortgage experience and that was true…it also contributed to their not knowing that the sales tactics taught to them were completely inaccurate…but I realize that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds or more people that were scammed…any of my former clients, feel free to contact me at [email protected]…if we had spoken in January at any point, know that we all truly believed that, with Mr. Gembala’s help, we were going to be able to get our operations up and running again…a bunch of us worked very hard, but once the actual files were stolen and held for ransom, we had no choice…I personally went into our system from my home computer and saved each and every file from my own clients…if any of them need dates or information, I’m more than happy to give it to help with their affidavits…Sara and I also provided a client list with at least 400 names to the Barrington Police today to prove there were at least that many victims, if not more…I’m also fairly certain that the other processors were able to give their client info as well…we all want to see these people get exactly what’s coming to them…for the clients, we want them to get justice and the people who ran this company..well, you can imagine what we wish on them…
    Best of luck to all,
    Cristal

  • Robin

    Sara what a comment to make about falling for this,we trusted in all you people and how do we know we can trust you now?

  • Sara-I CAN HELP

    Hello everyone! I just wanted to start by saying that I am truely sorry for everything that has happened! I was a processor for Secure Property Solutions. I had a lot of clients and so did everyone else. We had no clue that this was going to happen. Mike and Chris are going to pay for this and so will Gembala, who was just out to make a quick buck..I am working with the Barrington police Dept on getting these guys NOW! Please if any of you were scammed please email me your name and address and Phone number to [email protected]. All information that I recive will be forwarded on to the detective. I promise all of you that this will not go away!! If any you want to get involved with the lawsuit that is going on right now, please contact ATTY Chris Livingston @ 910-866-4948. He will be more than happy to get you involved and get you your money back! Again please email me if you need help!

  • Jodi

    I signed on with Gembala and property solutions to help with my mortgage. They did nothing,i lost the house and i paid 2500.00 up front also. I want to be added to the class action suit also. Tired of people taking advantage of people who are looking for help and trust.

    • Sara-I CAN HELP

      CALL CHRIS LIVINGSTON @ 910-866-4948..

  • Igor

    I just found out what is going on with Joseph Gembala and property solutions. I was also scamed by SPS. I paid 1645.00 UP front for a modification that never took place.I also would like to be added to the class action suit. I was scammed just like everyone else.

  • James in Phoenix

    FYI: Mailed you a notarized letter Monday detailing my ‘time and money’ spent with Joseph A Gembala III & Associates and Secure Property Solutions LLC. Also included are copies of my contract (excluding private info) and the names of every staff member that dealt with me.

  • Lou

    If any of you dealt with Sheyda Zaman (LYING SCUMBAG) and would like to find her so that you can give her s**t, you can find her on Facebook. She told me that she was going to lower my mortgage payment from 2,300 to 1,600 a month just to get my money. She also said I was “pre-approved”. What a lying b***h!!! I hope she gets infected with a terminal disease!!!

    • wanna help

      How could you ever wish that upon anyone? You can stalk her down do what you may please. But I worked for SPS and it was a hell hole. We did what we were told and no it was not a scam until the end until MIke and Chris were taking the money YOU paid them and put it in their pockets. So get your facts straight before you wish death upon someone. The people that worked for SPS had nothing to do with the scams. Karma will kick you in the ass for that comment my friend. Good luck.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Wanna Help,

        People are rightfully upset so I hope you can forgive some of the anger. But if you ‘wanna help’ what information and/or advice can you share to help people get refunds for services not received? Or at the very least, get their files and information back?

        Do you have insight on the operation you can share to help?

        Steve

      • Paul Pianto

        Steve:

        I am new to CA. I am a former BK attorney. I am seeking employment in the loan modification field. I was wondering if you could refer me to a reputable loan mod firm or law firm who could use quality help. I am frustrated by the scam artists. Provident placed a help wanted ad on craigslist stockton. They are now d/b/a Provident Law Group, 39 California Ave., Ste. 203; Pleasonton, CA 94566. Phone:(925)485-9502
        Fax: (925)485-9505

        Very truly yours,

        Paul A. Pianto

      • Chris Livingston

        I agree, no need for death wishes or any kind of violence. Those who deserve prison will hopefully get it, and we’ll see how well they all get along with “the guys.”

        The most helpful thing you could do is write up an affidavit of your time with SPS and especially how many people got ripped off. Joe’s already claiming we can’t prove more than a hundred victims. It would mean you’d have to give your name and if you want to stay low-profile then I don’t blame you. But if you want to, a whole lot of people will be really grateful. My contact info is around here somewhere.

      • wanna help

        Chris I will give you a call this week and I will also send an email. Steve– Excuse me but can’t even get my last two weeks of pay or my information back from Chris and Mike because they held the files ransom. How am I supposed to help? I am out $1,600 and they have all my information. That area I can not help. But two weeks after SPS closed me and other employees were trying to the files back we sorted them and had them all ready to move into another office space away from Chris and Mike since they are assholes. I took MY time and drove by the office because I knew they were going to take the files and well what do you know. They took the files and chris’ step dad whom is a retired cop from NJ picked up the phone and told us the files are being held ransom (along with my information and other employees) until Joe Gembala signs an agreement to pay off the rest of the employees (15,000) and to handle any lawsuits that come their way.
        So yes, I “wanna help” Steve but in that department I cannot because I am still looking for my money and my information(file).

        Thank you.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Wanna Help,

        That was very helpful information. Thanks!

        Hopefully by everyone working together things will get better for both the former staff and the victims.

        Steve

      • Lou

        PISS OFF “WANNA HELP”!!!

    • Sara-I CAN HELP

      Its not Sheydas fault..your just crazy..Its Mike Malones and Chris Frisches fault so if you want to wish ill on someone, let it be them..I could say maybe you were dumb for falling for it. But thats not nice now is it.

  • Almirido Moreno

    I got scammed for 1100.00 by this gays too when I was in laid off from work. But the bad things you do here in the earth you pay for it here in earth.

  • aLMIRIDO mORENO

    Where are Secure Property Solution, they work for Joseph a Gambala, and they stole 1000.00 from me on my loan modification. My ph 407-375-4250

  • Duke H

    I was scamed out of 1895.00 and would also like to be included in the class action law suit. Chris if you read this, how can we go about another way of getting you info without sending you all the classified information that we sent out the first time to this man for help. Thanks

    • Chris Livingston

      What you can do to help me with that is, write up an affidavit, that is, a sworn statement of how you came to need help with your mortgage, how you found SPS, who you talked with and when, what they told you and when, how much money you gave them, and then what they did after you gave them money.

      Above your signature put “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date].” Get it notarized. Keep a copy, and you can scan and email a copy back to chrisatty at hotmail dot com. But whatever you do, make sure you send the original to

      Chris Livingston
      2154 Dowd Dairy Road
      White Oak NC 28399

      You can put your real name and city and state on it. But NO need to put your address or any other identifying information. That should keep things private.

      And do it really soon, like tomorrow, because I want to get something into court by next week and I need as many statements as possible to go along with that.

      THANKS extremely much, look forward to seeing it!

      • Tiffani

        Hi Chris,

        I will be notorizing and mailing our letter in the morning 3/3. I have enclosed a copy of our bank withdrawals that shows that the money went into Joe’s account and emails from our “processor”.

        Thanks,

        Tiffani S.

      • http://Website Lana

        I sent the notorized letter to you today, scanned a copy
        and sent it to your hotmail acct, also filed a complaint
        with the state officer of consumer protection in NJ
        I did try to file a complaint with the BBB in both NJ
        and PA but the online complaint sections stated they
        were unable to locate the business I was looking for, any
        more suggestions

      • http://Website kelly brackin

        what can i do to get my money back. i have saved all faxes to them and money we sent them. i am really upset, because as a result of my family trusting them i now owe more money to my mortgage company, they really messed us up

  • Chris Livingston

    Hi guys, me again with an official unofficial update, and this time a note as to how you can directly help!

    Joe’s lawyers have already responded to what we’ve filed. They boil down to Joe saying (1) I didn’t do NOTHIN and (2) even if I DID do nothin, then I only owe you back the $100-200 I kept. Maybe. If I gave the rest of your money to the criminals of Secure Property Solutions–not my problem, go sue THEM.

    >8^(

    ohhhhhkay, since he wants to cop THAT attitude, what you can do to help is write up an affidavit, that is, a sworn statement of how you came to need help with your mortgage, how you found SPS, who you talked with and when, what they told you and when, how much money you gave them, and then what they did after you gave them money. “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date].” Get it notarized. Keep a copy and send the original to

    Chris Livingston
    2154 Dowd Dairy Road
    White Oak NC 28399

    Any documents you have will be helpful. I hoped Joe would see he’s toast, but he’s decided to fight as hard as he can, it seems. We can fight back, and a lot harder. Thanks and see you later, Chris L.

    • james In Phoenix AZ

      Thanks for the update Chris…I will get you a notarized letter with VERY specific details including dates/amounts of checks specifically written out to Joseph A Gembala as well as all of the names of the parties representing Gembala and Secure Property Solutions. I also can provide printed copies fo all emails they sent to me regarding my attempt at modification.

      As of last week Wells Fargo threatened foreclosure and I returned the threat of Chapter 7! We met in the middle of that war of words with a short sale attempt. I just want this nightmare over at this point. Regards.

  • Tiffani

    Hi all,

    Received a letter today from US Mortgage Funding, Inc. out of Boca Raton, FL. The letter said, at the top, “ELIGIBILITY NOTICE” and they made it look like it was from our mortgage company. I called the number and a guy answered right away. I asked him if this was a free service and he said that there would be “lawyers fees” involved. I basically told him to shove it and that what his company was doing was against the law and that I will now report him.

  • James in Phoenix

    Well…Gembala scammed me of $1995 and won because they did nothing to help me with Wells Fargo…my lender threatened foreclosure yesterday and after numerous phone calls today told me to get a realtor and short sell the property…which really menas they will not approve a short sale and will foreclose down the road…can you say Chapter 7!

  • Michael

    I am losing my home due to a fraugelant company called gembala and associates, I was promised that they could help me and they took several thousands from me and now they dissapear and I am broke and facing losing my home march 20 to go up for sale! I was robbed and I have no security blanklet,what can I do? I need your help if you can please, I am desperate for real help and some real honesty can you help me?

    • Maria

      I dont know where you are located at but we have someone is ca who is helping us see my messages above we already heard from our bank with a package for 3 mos trial period with a lower payment

  • Paul in NJ

    Unless I am mistaken, and i could be of course, Lets all remember that at this point this is not a class action suit. If I recall, Chris will try and get it to be one but its not yet and he doesnt know if the courts will rule it as one.

  • http://getoutofdebt.org Steve Rhode

    Just an FYI. A request for receivership against Gembala and all defendants was filed yesterday.

    If you want to read the document you can click here.

    .-= Steve Rhode´s last blog ..Financial Relief Experts Review =-.

  • Cecilia Francillette

    I just found out what is going on with Joseph Gembala and property solutions. I would like to be added to the class action suit. I was scammed just like everyone else. I also want to thank everyone who has provided all this information to us.

  • http://[email protected] Pissed

    Does anyone know how old Mike Malone or Chris Frisch is? Does anyone have a picture of them?

  • kevin mccarthy

    kevin and rhonda salisbury,ma. although his office checked out ok during our investigating to ensure we would not get (screwed) he got us for 2300.00 and we are worse off now please contact us with any class action suit going on or any help on getting out of this mess it seems he left on quite a few of us

  • Nick

    Michale J. Malone – 2603 Beaconhill Drive, Sicklerville, NJ 08081

    New Office: 143 Harding Avenue, Bellmawr, NJ

  • Chris Livingston

    Hey guys, me again. Quick update–I’ve now heard from 35 people in 22 different states. Never seen anything like this. Again, it’s really great to know we’re making a difference and if nothing else we’ve prevented hundreds more people from losing money to these guys.

    Today I filed a motion with the federal court to appoint receivers (neutral third parties, usually forensic accountants or lawyers who specialize in asset recovery) to take control of all assets belonging to Joe Gembala, Chris Frisch, and Mike Malone, plus whatever’s still in the name of Secure Property Solutions, Custom Asset Solutions, and National Mortgage Consultants Group. AND of course asked for an order to give all your files back, although probably law enforcement should be the ones to get them first. I’m not sure when or if the court would grant it but if they do it would be a major step toward getting some part of your money recovered and on its way back to you.

    I haven’t heard from Joe’s lawyers in Raleigh for two weeks now, even though I told them we need to have very serious talks or else I would ask the court to take their clients into receivership. I’ll call them again on Wednesday the 24th if I haven’t gotten their attention yet.

    I also told them that Joe should NOT repeat NOT be giving out Marty Rothenberg’s name and number as somebody who could HELP you. He cannot. Do NOT repeat NOT give Marty or anybody else any money for loan modification or foreclosure relief! Of all the people who’ve called me, SPS/Gembala got exactly one family’s first mortgage payment reduced by $300 a month. And then didn’t keep their promises to practically eliminate the same family’s second mortgage. Other than that, Gembala/SPS has just taken money for no benefit.

    Check with your state housing department for mortgage help, or poke around the HUD site until you find it. I’ll keep up the work on my end until we’ve recovered as much money as humanly possible. I don’t get paid until then! Keep up the complaints to your AGs too; maybe we’ll get their attention and some help in recovering money. Watch this space! catch you later, Chris L.

  • JRS

    I was taken for $2,595.00 by Secure Property Solutions, and still do not have a mortgage modification in place….what do I do. This has been going on since the beginning of Aug. 09

    Where can I get help and what are my chances of getting the $2,595.00 back?

    • Troy Slate

      was the amount on your CC?

      • John

        This amount was on a debit card withdrawn from my checking. The bank told me that because it was past a 90 day period, there was nothing they could do.

  • Dharani

    Please do not trust these companies. I was charged by Transworld Management $1800. Fortunatly, my credit card company was able to refund me the full amount, but the $1200 check to Gambala office was no where to be refunded. Hopfully, I am able to get a refund by the Class lawsuit against these scammers.

    Any of you should not be paying anything upfront or a dime to get your loan refinanced or modified.

    After not able to reach both SPS and Gambala law office by both me and my mortgage company, I decided to negociate myself. I was able to get my loan lower to 2%. Your mortgage company will not making the decision on who applies the loan for you just because they are so called “experts”.

    Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on these illegal activies and propose a new law to bar mortgage relife companies from charging up front fees.

    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/02/mars.shtm

    Also file a complaint about SPS/Gambala/Transworld to

    – FTC
    – Your state Atterney General
    – Your local Better Business Bureau
    – Your local police department

  • Tiffani

    Hi guys! Wow, this has really grown into something huge! When I first found this blog there weren’t but a few people on here with complaints and now it has exploded!

    A BIT OF HOPE HERE….my mortgage company, Freedom Mortgage, called and we COULD be getting our modification after all, they asked for more pay stubs anyway. Once we found out that this was a scam, we began working VERY closely with them. We made a few payments to get our loan close to current. Maybe they saw that as a good sign? We let them know that they could be a part of the scam by accepting the modification from a fraudulent “third party”, maybe that scared them? Who knows, just keep trying everybody!

    For the people that are getting charged again, I would HIGHLY recommend registering with Equifax, they keep an eye on all accounts, credit/debit cards, etc and send you an alert when something hits your account.

  • susan austin

    Transworld management group also called me and told me that Joseph Gembala gave them my name and number, because secure property solutions has closed it’s doors, and they would now take our modification! They made it sound like Gembala was trying to help me! Can you believe this guy? He hasn’t done enough already, now he’s trying to get even more. Transworld also said they would have to charge me an additional fee! I told them they were crazy, I would never trust them, especially if Gembala refered my name.
    Has anyone heard of “Pay it for me”? This is the company that was supposed to finance the rest of my modification? I’m wondering if they are part of all this too? They told me that Transworld Management Group is legite, and now I’m questioning their validity. Has anyone else financed with them? They said they gave Gembala alot of money for financing, and they are looking into the scam?

  • Sean Lynch

    Also, Please make sure to write a review of this guy ANYWHERE you can!!! I have done some research and there are almost NO reviews on him. In fact the review on Yellowbook.com is actually a good one (albeit likely written by himself) but Martindale does not have a single review on him. The best weapon is to destroy this man professionally as he has destroyed the lives of others so he will be less likely to harm others. WRITE REVIEWS!! Google his name +review and leave comments.

    I was not one who was ripped off by this guy, but my good friend was and I think Gembala should be disbarred. He does not deserve to practice law.

    • wanna help

      I worked at SPS and I know all fingers are point at Joe. But he had no idea what was going on in the company. Yes I am sticking up for him because Mike Malone and Chris Frisch aren’t getting mentioned at all in this blog. They are the ones that TOOK YOUR MONEY AND PUT IT IN THEIR POCKETS. Mike PAID FOR HIS WEDDING, HONEY MOON, AND HIS WIFES WEDDING RING WITH COMPANY MONEY. The only mistake Joe made was agreeing to putting his name on the piece of paper which got him in this mess. Here are their address if you want to send a great letter for what they have done.

      68 Sandra Road, Voorhees NJ 08043, registered agent Michael Malone

      Christopher Frisch, 13 Preswick Drive, Medford NJ 08055

      • Tiffani

        He had NO idea???? That’s BS! Either he’s a great liar or he’s just that ignorant for signing that piece of paper! He’s a lawyer and should know about reading the fine print! I’m sorry but I have NO soft spot in my heart for the man! Defend him all you want,sir, but I’m sure you’re not going to find any sympathetic ears here for Joe Gembala.
        Does he have sympathy for us? Especially the ones that are about to lose their homes? I highly doubt it! If he truly is a victim in all this then he SHOULD feel sympathy for us and try to help us get our money back that his signature took away!

      • Paul in NJ

        Tiffany, thank you. you said wat I wanted to say. I do appreciate the person trying to help but its almost like they are running good publicity for Gembala. Wrong forum here for that. We are losing our homes and are out money. and apparently other factions of the scam are starting to pop up and continue to try and hurt us and others. Thank you “wanna help” your input is appreciated and needed but they should all be held accountable.

      • Alice from NJ

        This is the first that I’m finding out about all this scaming! I thought I was being helped into a more affordable financial soluation (Rate modification). My check for $1300. was written out to Joseph Gembala and assoc., and the check was cashed by him. I have the cancelled check to prove it. So in my situation SPS did sign me up, but Joe Gembala took my money and provided absolutely no service! I have left numerous messages at Joe’s PA #, and I have not been called. I want my money back! This man holds a license to practice law, he has to be held accountable! Who do I have to contact to get help?
        Does anyone know?

      • http://[email protected] Pissed

        Even if Gembala is being scammed he isn’t doing much to prove he is innocent. I thank you for all your information. It is helping on tracking Mike and Chris down they are def. scum bags and are being looked into. The best thing is that his wife will find out and he will probably take down his brother as well. If they are human Mike will have more coming to him than he can possibly imagine. I hope you guys get serverance pay for lost wages as well. Joe is a lawyer of 25 years and I would think that he would be a little smarter with who he deals with and how he handles himself.

      • wanna help

        Just trying to help. I am sorry about everything that has been done to all of you and I hope justice is served and money is returned.

      • http://[email protected] Pissed

        We know you are, you have given me and others valuable information. I’m set and finding the crooks and more information that you can give the better. I don’t even care about the money, I’m worried that people are losing their homes and assets over these guys. Any information is helping get one step closer to making these guys get locked up with Bubba is the State Pen.

      • wanna help

        well please throw any questions you have about them or how things were ran over there.

  • http://[email protected] Pissed

    What is Gembala doing about being scammed, blackmailed and having to deal with all of this if any of this is true? I would think that he would being doing something to get back at Chris and Mike. The funny thing about Kevin Malone is that he is the guy from the Office. The only place that I see Mike Malone’s name is with SPS. I doubt that he is the tattoo guy or the guy from Forbes. I have many people checking into this, and can only hope that these people aren’t scamming anyone else anywhere. It seems that you can’t trust anyone anymore, unless you have knowledge. Knowledge is power! Knowledge is power! I’m ranting because like many of you this is driving me nuts.

    • wanna help

      Gembala had the opportunity to do something about being blackmailed. We asked the cops if we could have Mike and Chris arrested but we couldn’t because the files are Mike and Chris’ property. He put the company in Kevin’s name because he knew what was going on with SPS. I have no idea what those guys are up too they sort of went MIA Mike Malone changed his cell phone number the day after he fired us all.

      • Hate Scammers

        Actually if the people who paid for services contracted with Joseph Gembala then the files belong to his law firm, not SPS. And technically, the files are the property of the client, not the lawyer. Gembala can, if he wants, file for an order to show cause in state court to compel the thieves to immediately secure, account for and return the files for the benefit of the clients. He can also ask for a receiver to be appointed to manage the retrieval and return of the files to the clients. If he doesn’t do it, perhaps some of the clients who are in NJ can file such an action.

        But if I were Gembala, I’d be trying to do it myself and like yesterday! Every day that the SPS thieves hold on to the files gives them another chance to fabricate exculpatory evidence against them (or incriminating evidence against Gembala) and destroy evidence that implicates them.

        The files are being laundered now to leave Gembala holding the bag.

  • wanna help

    Hi everyone,
    I worked for the so called company “SPS” this place was nothing but a hell hole. To make a long story short we all come into work on Friday and was told we would be not be getting paid today and come Monday all of our checks would be ready. Well Monday went by and still no check. Later in the after noon on Monday Mike and Chris called us in and told us Joe Gembala was not putting money in the funds to pay us all or support the company(which was not true) and they weren’t sure if they would be up and running anymore. So Tuesday we all came into work and the phones and internet were down (go figure) and they told us the company is shutting down and to leave. A couple of the employees went to Joe Gembala’s office in center city, pa to ask him what was going to happen to all of the clients( believe it or not the employees wanted to help you guys out unlike Mike and Chris who are money hungry thieves) Joe had no idea what was going on because Mike and Chris weren’t picking up their phones. Anyway, Joe was informed what had happened. So an hour later we were on our way to go to the office in Jersey to get the files and move them to a different office to get working on them but since the lease was still in Chris and Mikes name they found out we were trying to move the files to work on them and Chris called the cops on us and tried to have us arrested for trespassing. We were told to leave after we had already packed up all the files which was on a Friday(Jan, 29th). I knew Mike and Chris were going to do something with the files so an employee drove by the office to see if the files were still there but who would have guessed they were gone!!! We got a hold of a friend of Mike and Chris’ and he said the files are being held ransom and we will get them back if Joe signs an agreement to put $15,000 into the account to pay the employees(so they wouldnt go to jail) and to deal with all the law suits that are coming their way. Joe did not have the money and wouldn’t do it. I can honestly say that the employees have tried to get the files back and things worked out. I and many employees are still out of a paycheck and a job oh wait and they didn’t pay unemployment! So believe me you arent the only ones that were scammed. If you have any questions ill be happy to answer. OH! and They are also running a company under his brothers name which is Kevin Malone it’s a debt relieve company once I find out the name ill send it.

  • susan austin

    I was also taken. They actually arranged for me to finance $1500 because I couldn’t pay it all! They took $600, and now the finance company is after me for the other $1500. I am hoping the finance company is legit, and they are now trying to get the money from Gembala. But they said I am responsible at this point, and will send me to collection if it isn’t paid or resolved!

  • http://[email protected] Pissed

    Hello everyone,

    My wife and I contacted our credit card companies, since we charged the money on there, and they are willing to refund our money as a credit to our cards. They are going to investigate then we should get the credit back from them. Since Gembala doesn’t answer their phones we should have the refund within a month. I’m finding it funny that everyone was charged a different amount, although there is nothing funny about this. Good luck everyone.

  • Glenn Heisinger

    My wife and I were also taken for $1095 which could have been another $500 but they didn’t take it out of my account. My rep at SPS was Andy Corman. What gets me is I got the info to apply for this help off of the Chase Mortgage web site. Thanks
    Chris for your help with the Manuels.

  • Dharani

    Hi Steve:

    I found a legal document from the internet.

    Re: Republican Candidate – 4th District, City Council
    I, Joseph A. Gembala, II, am operating as a candidate only without a campaign committee.

    The letter includes: his Fax (215)686-3472 and his personal cell phone number (215)858-3514. I called his cell number and got his voice mail. I did not left any messages. I hope this information helps everyone who is looking for Joe Cembala.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Sources tell me Joe Gembala has gone missing or at least not answering his phone any more. If someone lives in Philly, can you please go by Gembala’s office and tell us all if they are still open. If they are, ask for a telephone number they will actually answer.

    Joseph A. Gembala, III & Associates
    1500 Walnut Street, Suite 2000
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Steve

    • wanna help

      I worked at SPS and Joesph Gembala is still there. The company is not open anymore and the office was not located in Center City, PA it was in Barrington, NJ. But I know Mike Malone opened another company under his brothers name Kevin Malone for legal reasons. It is a debt relieve company, I am trying to figure out the name.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Do you know the address and phone number of the NJ office?

        Steve

      • wanna help

        I’m still trying to figure it out. But the office in Barrington, NJ is officially closed as a matter of fact they were getting evicted because they were 3 months late on rent. If you have any questions about what happened I would be happy to help out. I want the word out about Mike and Chris

      • Dharani

        Hi Wanna Help & Steve:

        The new name could be “Transworld Management”.

        SPS/Transworld Management charged my credit care without my knowledge on 1/9/2010 under the company name of “Transworld Management” by their CEO Marty Rothenberg.
        His information as below:

        Marty Rothenberg
        CEO
        Secure Properties Hollywood
        phone 954 391-6890
        fax 954 391-6675
        website http://www.securepropertieshollywood.com

      • wanna help

        Marty who is the CEO of that company called a couple of former employees to work for him. The catch was he wanted to get more money out of the people that were already scammed and yes all of us turned it down because the truth did not come out until the last day. But the people in Florida are still doing it. So yes, this is once again a scam. Mike and Chris have no existing connection with Marty because they also screwed Marty out of money as well as everyone else.

      • Tom $2500.!!!

        To Wanna Help,
        Does this guy Marty have an English accent? If so do you have a number for him? Also, do you know what town Mike and Chriss live in?

      • Dharani

        No, he does not have an English accent. He sounded like a big large guy with NJ/Mafia accent like in the TV show Sopranos. I spoke to him and Mike (right next to him many times, I can still recoginze his voice. From he told me that he had a wife from the Far East – Perphas the Philippines).

  • Jesse Cano

    let’s not let this firm get away with this type of fraudulent let get together and file what ever needs to
    be file and go after them, because they will only start somewhere else.
    Jesse Cano
    02/16/2010
    if we lose our homes let’s sue for the amount if possible.
    we have to find out our rights.

  • shah

    what should we do to get our refund? can bank help us or any lawyer can help us?

  • shah

    i am also victimized by this law office. agent mark smith contracted me and showed me all the false documents, including one from my bank and they take 1750 dollar from me

    then later i couldnt contact them any more and seems their number is disconnected. i hope they get proper punishment for this act

    • Denise

      My husband and I also were scammed in November by this company. He was laid off and then had to have surgery. We have two small children. We lost $900.00, but I am most worried about the breach of all of our confidential information. Thank god I was able to borrow some money from family members, otherwise my mortgage company was going to foreclose! They are now trying to help us lower our payments at NO COST. I hope Gembala and all his associates go to JAIL!!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Denise,

        Be sure to contact attorney Chris Livingston, contact information listed in the comments. If you participate in his class action lawsuit you may recover some or all of your money.

        Steve

  • patti

    i was also scammed.i am now in default. i contacted the bbb they told me to contact the attorney general and apologized for the a rating they had less then a couple months ago . i need advise . i am going to contact hope and tell them what happened. i prey they can help me. and i prey they can help all of you . i did not have the two thousand to blow.good luck and thanx everyone.every bit of advice is greatly appreciated.

  • Mary

    I was out of work for a year and during that year, I also lost an adult child to cancer. She was getting treatment in Seattle and I was going back and forth on a regular basis and got behind on my mortgage. She had wonderful insurance during her illness but many of the prescriptions and treatments were not fully covered so I was helping her try to save her life at the same time. After her death, I was responsible for all the funeral expenses as well, which I am still paying for on a monthly basis. I am now gainfully employed and want to be able to save my home. I have the money to pay each month and can gradually, pay the arrearages as well, given a little time. As you can imagine, after being unemployed for a year and with everything else related to cancer treatment, hospice and death, personal loss and the trauma of losing a child, I have other bills to catch up on. I have two jobs now and want desperately not to lose my home. Can you help me? I thought I had hired someone reputable and hoped they would help me as they promised.

    I had sent money to Joseph A. Gembala and they had promised to help me save my home, using the Obama program as the incentive. Has he been indicted? can you help me find out what is going on. I have been calling and emailing the people I have been working with without any response. My biggest concern is that they have my banking information and I want to know if I have to be concerned about any further withdrawals. Were they scamming people? Will they be compensating people for their fees, etc.? they fully guaranteed to refund money if they were unable to work with the bank to renegotiate my loan.

    • Tiffani

      Hi Mary,

      Yes they are scamming us. Gembala is being sued by a couple in NC and the attorney handling the case is trying to get it turned into a Class Action suit. They have, unfortunately, taken all of our money and files and have disappeared. I have already contacted Equifax to report my information so that they can keep track of everything. I did not get my loan modification either and never will. Call your bank to see if they will cover the fees. Tell them that they were taken fraudulently and then they will file a claim against Gembala’s bank. I’ve even sent a letter to the White House to let them know that these people are out there using the President’s name for their own profit, not that I’ll get a response. Also, report it to your State Attorney General and file a police report in your city. These are horrible people and need to be stopped. I’ve been hearing that there is a man that answers the phone at the “Gembala Law Office” that is saying that for $600, he will fix everything. DO NOT give him any money, he’s a part of it too.

    • shah

      i think u should get a new account and replace old one and keep it open , so they can refund ur money and plz call all credit bereau for credit monitor.

      • Dharani

        Mary:

        I am on the same boat!!!

        Call your local police office to file a report first.
        Then file a fraud Alert to ALL 3 credit agencies.
        Change your credit card number, Bank account number…

        This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

        AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report.

        http://www.ftc.gov/freereports

        https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

        I hope we do get our money back! All the best…

  • Kerrin

    Has anyone tried to dispute charges with their credit card company yet and if so did you have any luck?

  • James in Phoenix

    My wife and I were scammed for $1999 and have been awaiting a Lan Mod thru Wells Fargo since August 2009. All of Secure Property Solutions LLC #s, emails and websites have been disconnected. The Gembala Law office # is Philadelphia claims to have no idea of their own llc created to ‘scam’ us out of $ instead of helping us with a ‘mod’. I filed with my state attorney general’s office today just to try to get their help in convincing Wells Fargo to not foreclose on us. There are sure a lot of filthy predators out there trying to capitalize on others misfortunes.

  • candice from Indiana

    My husband and I were also scammed by sps in the amount of 1295.00 We dealt with Ronnie Gervasoni, Renee Bousson a Nick and some others. All the same things happened like the rest of you. Things not sent to our mortgage co, no response from phone calls or e-mails when we did get one oh everyone was sick with flu or someone was on maternity leave. We have a 1 yr old and 6 yr old and now are about to lose our house. Husband has been laid off for a year and same thing as others saw the Presidents picture and as seen on msnbc, etc. etc. when we were checking numbers and sites they told us to verify they were real company. We needed help and they lied and now we just want our money back.

  • Tom Forrest

    Hi Chris, Thanks for all your doing for everyone. I too was taken by SPS in the amount of $2500, although my house is in Florida. We got as far as a Forbearance Agreement that was offered to me, (Three months grace that I would have to pay in full at the end of three months),and the people that solicited me on this told me that that would be considered a fulfillment of the contract. SPS asked me to foward the Forbearance Agreement to them, and thats the last I heard from them before their lines went dead.
    Chris I believe I have the name and address of one of the girls working in the office at SPS as well as the name and address of the man that did the sales part of this if its any help at all, feel free to contact me at any time and thanks again for all you are doing……..Tom

  • Tiffani

    New update from my neck of the woods. I live in Missouri and I tried filing a police report with the Philadelphia PD this morning. They said that I have to file a report in my own city and that they would contact the Philly PD. For those of you that live in PA, call (215) 686-1776 or go to their site http://www.phila.gov/311. DO NOT CALL 911 to file your report. That’s all I know for now.

    • http://[email protected] Pissed

      My police department was pissed about the Philly police telling me to dial 911. Just call your local police department and file a report. This way you have backing with any fraud.

  • maggie

    Hello everyone. We were also scammed by this company. We only found out when we received a motion for final judgement for foreclosure. We had been informed by SPS that all was well and should be settled soon approx 3 weeks before. They actually requested updated pay stubs.

    At this point we consulted a real attorney who was recommended by the New Jersey Foreclosure hotline. She advised us to object to the mtion in writing and ask for mortgage mediation.In this motion we explained what had happened to us. She informed us that if we went before a judge, he could strongly encourage our mortgage company to work with us. We also were referred to a HUD mediation counselor who will help us with this process. All of this was completely free (even the lawyer did not charge us for the consultation). If you are in NJ and need help I would strongly encourage you to call the hotline. 1-888-989-5277

  • Tiffani

    Hi Chris, thank you for posting this! And thank you to the Manuel’s, our heroes! It’s comforting to know that we are not the only ones going through this mess and that something is being done about it. My question for you is, does President Obama realize that these scammers are using his name and saying that people qualify for his programs and then taking us to the cleaners? Didn’t know if that could add to your case in any way. It was a link on Facebook, that had a picture of Obama’s face with a forclosure sign behind him, that prompted me to give my information that started all the phone calls from these people. Thought it was one of his programs that he had recently passed and that we had nothing to worry about.

  • Chris Livingston

    Hey all, I’m the lawyer on the Manuel v. Gembala case. This is a class action that should cover all of you, although it’s too soon for the class to be certified officially, but I’m reasonably confident that it’ll happen. Our goal is to get back as much as we can for everybody who was ripped off in the Gembala/SPS mess.

    Joe Gembala’s malpractice insurer has hired a lawyer in Raleigh NC to work the case, and we’re moving things along as fast as we can. It’s clear to me there’s no defense to any of this and I’m pushing hard to get everybody their money back, if Joe has enough money or can raise enough to do that, which is not at all certain. I took it contingent, that is, a percentage of whatever we can get back, so I’m very motivated to maximize that. I have pretty good information that 1,100 people gave up an average of $1,400 each, so full recovery, net of a contingent fee, would mean coming up with over $2 million. That’s a tall order but I’ll do everything I can.

    One problem is that Joe received your money and then passed most of it on to the scammers of Secure Property Solutions. My sad guess is, as in most any scam, the majority of the money has already been blown on life in the fast lane. We should get SOME money back, but we won’t find out how much for some time yet.

    This will take at least several months if everything goes well, and probably more like toward the end of the year. Lots of you have asked what you need to do to get in on this, and the answer is, nothing yet. Everybody is welcome and encouraged to get an independent lawyer and file your own case. If you can’t find one who’ll take you on, then you should be covered by this class action (unless the judge denies class certification, in which case everybody’s on their own, although I don’t see any reason to deny class certification) and you’ll get a notice by snail mail in a few months regarding your claim. By then we should have a better idea of what we can recover. Again, it’s unlikely to be much, but I’ll do anything I can to find funds.

    Some of you have contacted the Gembala office and been given a new number to call about your “mortgage modification.” DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO ANYBODY for “mortgage modification” or “foreclosure rescue” or anything like that. You can find help for free–check with HUD and with your state government. Here in North Carolina we have a pretty stiff new law to slow down foreclosures and give people a chance to keep their house, and maybe other states do too.

    One thing you should know is that all Secure Property Solutions client files are missing, and most likely in the hands of the people who started Secure Property Solutions. That means your private information may be misused in the near future. It’s a very good idea to get your free credit report from the Federal Trade Commission (NOT the guys with the funny singing commercials–they are NOT free, despite the name) and look hard for any suspicious activity, and put out fraud alerts, and change your credit/debit card numbers.

    But the really good news is, SPS is out of business and can’t hurt anybody anymore. Joe Gembala got served with our lawsuit on 19 January and quit paying any money to SPS, and within a week, SPS ceased to exist. It wouldn’t surprise me if the people behind it are busy setting up a new scam as we speak–it’s just in their blood and they’ll keep on doing it until somebody stops them. Hold the death threats; that won’t help anything. But feel free to call up the Barrington NJ Police Department, or the Ninth District of the Philadelphia PD (where Joe’s office is) and see what you need to do to make a police report.

    Also complain to your state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. But I’m sorry to say that state AGs are much better at press releases and photo ops and getting elected Governor than actually helping anybody. I can assure you from bitter personal experience that the North Carolina AG’s office in particular is utterly useless and refuses to do anything about the scams I keep telling them of. They claim they’re too busy with REALLY important stuff, which would be filing two or three suits a year against bush-league cretins with only a few victims, because it’s easy, and generates a tough-sounding press release. NCAG even jumps in on other states’ suits just to take credit for them. NCAG doesn’t care about real losses to real people, so somebody else has to pitch in and do their job for them (which is fine with me as far as it goes, since RICO and most consumer protection statutes require scammers to pay attorney fees when they lose, but I’m only me and I can only take on so many scams at once).

    But if you want to know who to thank for this, I can do nothing without great clients who are willing to stand up and fight evil, not just for themselves, but also for 1,100 Gembala/SPS victims. Mike and Dorothy Manuel are good friends of mine and when they told me about this, I said I could likely scare these guys into giving your money back plus a little extra, but would you do us all a huge favor and be my named plaintiffs in a class action suit, and maybe we can stomp these guys flat and save other people from the same fate. They said, where do we sign? (right here!) Thanks to national heroes Mike and Dorothy Manuel, SPS has been stopped cold, and at least 20 of you have posted your comments here or gotten hold of me by phone or email, and I welcome every one of you. Keep it up. It means so much to know we’re making a bit of a difference in the world.

    I hope to have at least a little good news in a few months. I’m sorry this happened to any of you, and I wish I could fix broken hearts, but all I can do is try to give you a scrap of comfort in the form of a refund check, likely a small one.

    Fight evil. Wherever you are, however you can, with whatever you have–resist it; stop it; destroy it. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good folk to do nothing.”

    • Yolanda Cain

      Hi’ Chris I to was scammed, Is it possible if I could get Mike Manuel Information so that I could sue. You see not only was I scammed but it’s like seven of us from Chicago IL. Please contact me thanks. Yolanda Cain

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Yolanda,

        You’ll have to contact Chris Livingston, Esq. directly, he has no way of knowing how to contact you. His contact details are here in the comments to this article.

        Steve

      • Dharani

        Yolanda: I am also from Chicago, IL. That count me as 8 victims here in IL.

    • Cecilia Francillette

      Please add our name to the class action suit. Marcel & Cecilia Francillette
      contact(210)845-2964
      San Antonio TX 78254
      Thank You very much!

  • Tiffani

    The first thing I suggest is filing a formal complaint with your State Attorney General. You can do this online. I did it for my state and both of the states that they have offices in (NJ and PA) Hopefully if they get enough complaints they will step in, squeaky wheel gets the oil! Next, I’m sending my “refund letter” as instructed on the contract we all signed. I’m sending it certified to see if they even siqn for it. I’m even thinking of contacting the news stations to see if they can get the word out.

  • Dennis Hobson

    My wife and I were scammed in this as well. We paid them 2500.00. The man that said he was handling this for us his name is Timothy – He assured us that they would get our mortage lowered by up to half. We have tried to contact this company for weeks and get nothing but busy signal. Timothy also told us not to talk to mortage company they were dealing with this. Now we got letter today from our mortage company saying they are going to start foreclosing on our home. We need help here we thought this being a well know attorney and they had good rating at better business was not a fraud. We need help what can we do now!!!

  • chrissie

    I was also scamed by SPS and Joseph Gambela III. I paid 1200.00 someone let me know what to do

    • Troy Slate

      If you paid by CC tell them you know nothing of the charges and dispute them. They will not answer any calls so the CC company will credit your account.

  • http://[email protected] Pissed

    What happened with this law suit? What’s with the shady guy that you can now talk to that wants more money? I’m contacting the Att. Generals for CT and NJ to find these guys. If they are real attornies their information is out there and will be found. Take the necessary steps to protect your information people. They can have my money, if they take my identy they will be found.

  • Troy Slate

    For the people looking for ‘scotts” last name it is Feltman. He is the liar I talked too as well

  • Troy Slate

    By the way the CC companys have too eat it if you dispute the charges since it is fraudulent activity. You will win because noone will contact them and you will have ALL your money back….just not your personal info.

    • Michelle

      Thank you for this info Troy. we just found out last week that we were taken. I just had thought about it today to dispute the charges. My husband is going to call them today when he gets home (its his card) I was hoping we would get our money back that way.

      • Troy Slate

        Tell them you know nothing of these charges and do not know this company. Good news is they remove it from your balance right away or within 3 days. They will never speak to anyone regarding the charges with SPS so they will credit it for good for failure to respond back.

    • Yolanda

      I called my Credit Card company and they told me because it has been more than 60 days, they could not help me out. Any more ideas? I don’t know what else to do.

  • Troy Slate

    I too was taken for $1895 from theses SOB’s! They have all of our personnal information and also take your money. But dont worry I have nothing to lose now and travel for a living. Keep watching the news and you might see them in the obituaries!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cathy Rae

    I was also scamed by SPS and Joseph Gambela III. I paid 1200.00 UP front for a modification that never took place. After going through 3 different processors Kim Matuse, Roa and Lastly Rebecca, I called to find out what was going on.I left endless messages over the past 3 weeks. Today 2/08/2010, I received a phone call from 954-391-6890 a man asked me if I was with secured property solutions prior. I informed him that I was. He stated that SPS ripped off their customers and that their company would step in to recover their modification for $599.00. I said no way and that I would just go another route.

    • Tom F.

      Hi Cathy,
      I too was scammed,($2500). What I wanted to know was, If Kim’s last name was Matuse as you wrote or could it be Matucci as on her Email………Tom

  • Lynn Erickson

    I have been working with them since Sept.09, they seem to until 2 weeks ago and I’m not sure what’s going on, Can’t get a hold of anyone. I risked everything doing this and put it on a credit card I can’t afford to pay. I lost my job 1 year ago and over 50% of my wages. Please someone help me, I don’t know what’s going on or how to get help. I live in Oregon and now I am going to lose the only think I have left my house.

  • Kerrin Fair

    My husband and I were conned into paying $1795 for financial help with our mortgage. We were told that we were “pre- approved” and that they wouldn’t even consider us if we weren’t. We would see a loan modification in 30-45 days. We submitted numerous amounts of paperwork and paid Secure Property Solutions, LLC in July 2009. We were told over the answering machine last month that we were denied for our loan modification. I was told our refund would be on the way in two weeks. That was a month ago. I am sick!!! I am financially burdened as it is and these people took $1795.00 from me and my family. Money that I will never see and will take me a long time to try to earn back. I have lost many nights of sleep over this. I trusted these professionals. How can we get back to trusting people when there are crooks out there like these people taking advantage of those in need. We need to prosecute and they need to pay for the lies and turmoil!

  • Paul Del Priore

    We have been ripped off also by Gembala and the Secure Property Solutions scum. They got $1995 from us back in July 2009. Was sold a pack of lies. People named Scott Feldman, Ernesto Ranieri, Jaqueline Ranieri, Stacey Ventrone and finally Lisa McGinley all at some point were processing our 1st and 2nd mortgage modifications. We were told people came and went and each time we got a new processor. Whether willingly or not, all of these people were or became part of the scam. They had to know something! These sounded like intelligent people. I have email correspondence from them telling me all the good things they could do for us. They talked up Gembala as their “expert” and used his stellar reputation constantly to seal the deal. Much correspondence is on Gembala letterhead and many times when calling SPS the phone would be answered Gembala Law office. They are the worst kind of people to suck the last pennies out of us. We are about to lose our house. I had faith in them. I believed in them. Im now retired and dont have the benefit of youth to start over like they do. They have everyones financial and social security information. Does anyone believe we wont be stolen from again? Even if a settlement is reached, where is the protection of our personal info? They are now desperate and I believe would think nothing of stealing from us. They should compensate us and be prosecuted. They should be prevented from working in their fields of experience. and to Mr Kelly, the US Army guy who served in Iraq and afganistan…..from someone whos office was in One World Trade Center….Thank you for serving.

    • MARK. S

      ME AND MY WIFE WERE TAKEN AS WELL FOR 1995.00 AND ARE NOW TRYING TO HANDLE THIS ALONE. WE ARE FACEING FORCLOSURE AND WERE TOLD IT WAS A SLAM DUNK NO PROBLEM TO DO AND THEY ELECTRONICHALLY DRAFTED 3 PAYMENTS OUT OF OUR ACCOUNT.WE NEED TO BE PART OF THIS CLASS ACTION SUIT IF THERE IS ONE AND WHEN WE CALL GEMBALA WE GET AN ANSWER MACHINE SAYING TO CALL A MAN BY THE NAME OF MARTY ROTHENBURGER OUT OF HOLLYWOOD FLORIDA WHO TELLS US FOR 595.00 HE CAN TAKE CARE OF,SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER SCAM ARTIST.WE NEED HELP.OUR PROSCESSORS NAME WAS JAMIE BUTLER.

      • Tom F.

        Mark, My name is Tom and I too was ripped off for $2500.
        You mentioned this guy out of Holywood FL, are you from FL, I’m from FT. Lauderdale………Tom

      • Dharani

        Hi Tom & Mark:

        These crooks have started another company to scam people.
        The reason I know is because the CEO of SPS changed me $1800 without my consent and knowledge under “Transworld Management Group”.

        http://transworldmanagementgroup.com/contact.html

        Transworld Management Group,

        Sales & Marketing Office:
        3325 Hollywood Blvd suite 501
        Hollywood, FL 33021
        PH: 954-391-6890

  • Benjamin Kelly

    I also have been taken by a ride by Gembala and SPS. We paid them $1095. A guy who called himself Nick smooth-talked me into hiring them to work out a loan modification with our lender. That was in late September. “Lisa” was our case-worker and sent us a stack of forms to fill out and sign. My mortgage company has not contacted us, and I suspect Gembala and SPS have not contacted them. Every time I call for an update either nobody picks up or I get a voice mail. Once or twice somebody, (Lisa, I was told, did not work in the office any more,) called back and assured me they were working to get me updates on my modification request file. I have been taken advantage of. By the way I am a US Army soldier who’s served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have a wife and three year old son. Gembala and SPS took us from an already precarious situation and, through their actions, have nearly pulled out the rug from under us. At the very least Gembala and SPS are a group of heartless snakes, at worst they are antisocial, criminal thugs that need to prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    • Sandy Everett

      We also were taken by these losers for $2995.00. We paid Joseph Gembala and Secure Property Solutions one payment of $2995 on August 5, 2009 (we actually stopped payment on our mortgage payment to do this). By November, they were unable to work a modification with our lender and we were told that Kevin Malone in Accounting would be contacting us about our refund. After several weeks passed with no contact, we began caling and leaving numerous messages, NONE of which have been returned. As of today, Feb. 22, 2010, we have received NO response whatsoever from any of them. In January 2010, we sent a certified letter demanding our money back. Again, no response. I am just sick about this. I can’t believe I fell for it. There has to be something we can do to get our money back and stop these predators from duping others out of their hard earned money. They MUST be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law … and back again! Can someone tell me what we can do to make this happen?

  • Tiffani Middleton

    My husband and I live in Missouri and we too are caught in the Gembala scam. We paid them $1500 in November and have had no results. Our mortgage company is always sending us letters saying that we have missing documents. The processor, that we faxed them to, was not forwarding them. We were told by the processor NOT to send anything directly to our mortgage company because it would conflict with what they had doctored. We had refinanced with our mortgage company last April and were told that we couldn’t modify our loan because we hadn’t been with them for a year. This didn’t seem to be a problem to the salesperson that sold us this scam. We too were told 30-60 days and we could drop our payments by $500. I am sick to my stomach that I was stupid enough to fall for this. I have filed a formal complaint with my State Attorney General. I doubt I will ever get a refund, I just hope that Gembala gets what’s coming to him.

  • Josh Kelly

    I was hired in November by Chris Frisch and Mike Malone of Secure Property Solutions (SPS). The framework of the business was described to me as SPS being a sub-contractor of Joseph Gembala. I was told that by law all payments had to go through an attorney’s office.
    There were 2 sides to our operation: a sales team and a processing and negotiating team to deal with the lenders. It seemed like a legitimate operation. There were some optimistic promises made to clients by the sales team to generate business, but I just looked at that as the nature of sales.

    My job was to collect all necessary documentation from clients to submit to lenders for a mod request. This could be a Making Homes Affordable (MHA) mod or an in-house mod with the terms dictated by the lender. I have to disagree with the comments in the article that nobody got modifications as a result of our help. We processed hundreds of mods, some temporary and some permanent. Could the clients have gotten these without our help? Some probably could, but we also got mods for people who were denied on their own. Our expertise lied in knowing what the lenders wanted to see in regards to expenses and working out the surplus or deficit that they were looking for.

    I had no idea the depth and scope of this operation. I thought we were helping people. Sure we were charging them, but I felt it was justified because we could spend countless hours on the phone with lenders for one client. We would fax, refax, and refax again. If you didn’t stay on top of the lender they could kick the request out and we would have to start all over. I say this because I felt (at the time) that we provided a service that many people simply didn’t have the time to invest in getting a mod.

    Refunds did not come easily. It clearly stated in the contract that there was a non-refundable retainer. If we did not get them help they did get a refund (eventually). I was supposed to get paid last Fri. At 5pm we were told that Gembala did not transfer the funds into the payroll account. I received a $500 check and was told I would get the balance on Monday. On Monday Chris Frisch and Mike Malone said Gembala still refused to fund the account and that they were both personally and professionally broke. So I just worked the last two and a half weeks for free which is nothing compared to the hundreds of active clients counting on the company to help save their homes.

    They told me they offered Gembala the opportunity to at least finish what was started and see these current clients through. He supposedly denied this offer. On top of all this, they hired 8 new people last Monday and none of them will ever see a dime for the work that they did. I hope that Joe Gembala and whoever else was in cahoots with him get punished to the fullest extent of the law. These are peoples lives that they’re playing with and I pray that justice will be served.

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