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.
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.
AVID Law Center Puts New Wrinkle in Mass Joinder Compensation by Steve Rhode
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.