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AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation

A tipster (send in your tips here) has just forwarded a copy of the AVID Law Center pre-litigation retainer agreement in which it introduces a new money making effort to charge consumers participating in the mass joinder efforts against lenders. in this case while the AVID Law Center mailers look like the other mass joinder mailers and the language give you the impression this is just like the other mass joinder cases where the consumer will be placed in a lawsuit, they actually are not.

Client understands and agrees that Client is hiring Attorney for help with the pre-litigation process in regard to the mortgage(s) referenced above. Attorney will represent Client in a counseling and negotiating capacity only and will use best efforts to counsel Client and negotiate for Client relating to restructuring or settlement of Client’s mortgage(s). Attorney is located in California and is licensed to practice law in California only.

Later in the document they actually refer to it as a “loan modification petition.” So is this a new twist on selling loan modification services?

Ironically since this is nothing more than essentially a loan modification agreement they have to provide this standard disclosure that says you don’t need to pay for their services.

It is not necessary to pay a third party to arrange for a loan modification or other form of forbearance from your mortgage lender or servicer. You may call your lender directly to ask for a change in your loan terms. Nonprofit housing counseling agencies also offer these and other forms of borrower assistance free of charge. A list of nonprofit housing counseling agencies approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is available from your local HUD offi ce or by visiting www.hud.gov.

As you will see not only is the consumer paying $4,000 but also being charged $350 per month for participating.

AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation

Let’s run through the entire document.

The agreement does not cover litigation services.

This Agreement does not cover litigation services of any kind, whether in court, arbitration, administrative hearings, or government agency hearings and no such services are contemplated or implied by this Agreement. This Agreement does not cover other related claims that may arise and may require legal services, such as: lender lawsuits, negotiation of deed in lieu of foreclosure, defense of foreclosure actions and other foreclosure related activities, or to provide any tax advice. Client does not expect Attorney to represent Client in any lawsuit, fi le a bankruptcy petition for Client, or to intervene in any foreclosure proceeding and/or stop any foreclosure proceeding if one is pending. If Client determines Client needs legal representation in any court proceeding, foreclosure proceeding, or bankruptcy, or for any state specific issue, Client will retain an attorney at Client’s expense.

The consumer is locked into paying $350 per month for an indeterminate period of time under this agreement.

Attorney will mail and/or email a billing statement to Client upon completion of each month’s legal services as specified above. Client understands and agrees that payment of $350.00 per month for each month’s legal services is immediately due and payable upon Attorney’s completion of such services. In the event that (a) Client’s case is settled/concluded prior to the completion of month’s end, or (b) Client requests that Attorney discontinue providing services prior to the completion of month’s end, Client understands and agrees that payment of $350.00 for that month of services is still due and payable. If Client fails to pay in a timely manner, Attorney may withdraw from representation for good cause as described in paragraph 7 of this Agreement.

There is no refund available.

I understand and agree that I am not entitled to a refund at any time during representation or after representation has concluded

And if you stop paying the monthly fee then representation can end.

I understand that once AVID Law Center submits my loan modification petition to my lender, I will be billed at a rate of $350.00 per month for legal service provided.

I understand that if I fail to pay the $350 monthly fee, AVID Law Center has the right to withdraw from representation and discontinue providing legal services.

Even though this is labeled as a pre-litigation retainer which may give people the impression they are going to be involved in a lawsuit the agreements says they are not.

This is not a lawsuit but a negotiation and proposed settlement. AVID Law Center has not agreed to represent me in any foreclosure or bankruptcy proceeding, to perform litigation services of any kind or to file or appear in any bankruptcy or foreclosure proceeding.

AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation

AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation
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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.
  • Paul Christoforo

    This Company is a SCAM… Plain and Simple. They hide behind the rule that states “it is unlawful for any law firm to predict the outcome in any case”… But its NOT unlawful to charge 4500 bucks to roll the dice and see if they MIGHT be able help you. Yes, it is unlawful to predict the outcome of a case, but in order to be able to hide behind that you actually have to HAVE A CASE.

    Please save your money and do NOT work with this company. It is run by a piss poor management team that forces its employees to use a script to not only showed people how screwed they got by the banks but to also convince them that thier home will be gone without any hope unless you hire them. A loan modification is NOT difficult work and is NOT worth $4500.. You just need to know to contact your INVESTOR and NOT your SERVICER.

    Saving your home does not cost 5 grand. Remember these are attorneys. They are out to get rich just as much as the scumbags on Wall Street.     

  • Paul Christoforo

    This Company is a SCAM… Plain and Simple. They hide behind the rule that states “it is unlawful for any law firm to predict the outcome in any case”… But its NOT unlawful to charge 4500 bucks to roll the dice and see if they MIGHT be able help you. Yes, it is unlawful to predict the outcome of a case, but in order to be able to hide behind that you actually have to HAVE A CASE.

    Please save your money and do NOT work with this company. It is run by a piss poor management team that forces its employees to use a script to not only show people how screwed they got by the banks but to also convince them that thier home will be gone without any hope unless you hire them!

    Saving your home does not cost 5 grand. Remember these are attorneys. They are out to get rich just as much as the scumbags on Wall Street.     

  • Jo Menna

    @Ron:twitter 
     The common missconception about getting your mortgage restructured or “modified” is  most people think whoever they make thier payment to, is their “bank”. I hate to break it you Ron but Chase is the 2nd largest servicer of mortgages in the country behind BofA.. However they are both at top of the list at being the most difficult to deal with. What most people dont understand is that a servicer, such as Chase, even with a huge world reknown brand name and billions of dollars backing them, is nothing more than a bill collector. They have NO authority or any intersest for that matter to help you modify your loan. They simply collect your payment every month, charge fees if you are late and eventually send you a notice of default when you go past 90 days. They get paid a nice fee to basically manage this mortgage for the investor.
     
    The only way to get your mortgage restructured is by finding out who the true investor is… This could be anyone from Wells Fargo to Deutsche Bank in Europe. These loans were securitized and packaged up into multi-billion dollar pools of loans then sold and traded as securities on Wall Street. Your servicer, in this case being Chase will not tell you and in most cases doesnt even know who truly owns your note. If you are serious about getting help then you are going to have to hire an attorney to find out who the true lender is since this is NOT public information. At some point you are going to have to trust someone to handle this for you.

    I can’t say whether this is a good or bad company. They do appear to have a few complaints but it doesnt appear to be anything serious. All or most of thier complaints seem to have been addressed which is usually a good sign, Everyone has their own opinion and that is for you to decide, however try to google Chase and put the word scam after it and see what kind of results you get. In fact google any bank, mortgage company or financial services firm… Just for kicks Google the company you work for and see what you find. Everyone at one time or another had something bad to say about a particular company and the service they offer… The loan modification business is a tough one and not everyone is going to be happy 100% of the time. Dont bother wasting your time with the BBB becuase that is the biggest scam of all (go ahead and google that too, it was just on 60 minutes and it shows several cases of how you can buy an A+ rating for $350).

    Your best bet is to find a law firm that specializes in real estate and look them up on the state bar website. If there are no complaints against the attorneys on the state bar website its safe to assume that you are dealing with a somewhat honest and reputable attorney. If you think you can handle this on your own then give it a shot, but be prepared for the worst experience of your life.. Servicers get paid to collect payments. If you stop, it makes absolutely NO difference to them becuase they are not taking the loss on your loan, the investor is. The bottom line Chase does not care about you or giving you a principal reduction. If you really need help, and it sounds like you do then maybe you should find a local company and go meet them face to face. For some people that helps alleviate some of their concerns. You can also look up your loan on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac website(s) to see if you are in the small group of people who’s loan is owned by Fannie or Freddie and you may be able to qualify for a government program.. Also known as “The Obama Plan”. Although these have not helped many people, they have helped some and you may get lucky. However to get anything from Chase will be about as close as you can get to a miracle.

    I say this based on experience. I worked in Finance for over 15 years. I was involved in many different organizations on many differnt levels. I got to see everything from loan origination to securitization and I know the in’s and out’s so to speak on how to get a better loan since you are not able to refinance. If you truly want help it will cost money to retain a companies service. Just make sure that you check with the state bar (of whatever state you are in) and dont pay anything upfront.

    Hope this was helpful… Good luck

  • Ron

    Talked to them today and they sounded wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.  Thank goodness for the web where we can do our own research.  I did a Google search for ["avid law center" scam] and got 18,000 hits.   Buyer beware.  

    What I want is to know exactly who to call at (or what to write) my bank (Chase) and exactly what to say to them to get a principle reduction.  I’m now market at 120K and owe 305K…. ouch!

  • Krstin1212

    Thank you for posting this. You saved me from making a huge mistake.

  • Debi

    I ALMOST SIGNED WITH THEM…I CAN SEE NOW THAT IT’S A SCAM!

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