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Prudential Law Group – Consumer Complaint – 11-23-2011

Date This Problem Happened: November 18, 2011

State You Live in: Florida

Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino

Age Range: 21-35

Total Amount of Fee Paid: 0

Company Name: Prudential Law Group

Company Address:

Company Telephone Number: 866-920-9081

Website of Company: PrudentialLawGroup.com

Consumer Statement:

A lady name Lorie Wunning has called me from 949 202 2009 telling me they can help me reduce my mortgage monthly payments, they will charge me a fee of $ 3450 for negotiating a better rate with my actual mortgage company…..

Consumer Action Taken:

It was a pleasure speaking with you today in regards to modifying your loan. Per our conversation if you are ready please fax over a copy of your mortgage statement and a copy of your most recent paystub.

You may fax them directly to me at 949-751-2454.

Once I receive the documents, I will submit these to our legal department for the evaluation. I will call you to confirm that I received the documents,. It will take up to 24 hours to complete the evaluation.

When you get a chance be sure to take a look at our web links below.

Description: Description: Prudential_LawGroup_Logo-email-signature

lwunning | Case Manager | Prudential Law Group
Home Affordable Government Programs | Home Affordable Refinance
Toll free 866.920.9081 EXT: 302
Direct 949.202.2009
Fax 949.751.2454

http://www.prudentiallawgroup.com/

http://www.calbar.ca.gov

Pamela Stacey Gerber-Gressier

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE:
1. This is a private message and the information contained in this e-mail and accompanying attachment(s) are intended for the sole use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended addressee, then you may neither use the information in the message nor in any attachment(s).
2. In addition the information and attachments constitute confidential information, which may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, then any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on this information is strictly forbidden and may be unlawful. This information is the property of Prudential Law Group, a California Law Firm. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail.
3. This e-mail transmission may not be secure and may be legally intercepted. Clients are asked to use their best judgment in determining if a more secure means of communication than e-mail is appropriate for replying to this message.
4. If you have received this email by mistake please forward to [email protected]

Note:

I found the address of the company on their website.

4500 Campus Drive
Newport Beach CA 92660

We sent a letter to the company at the address given by the consumer and asked them to publicly respond to this complaint.

Prudential Law Group   Consumer Complaint   11 23 2011
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

Update 12-15-2011

Letter sent to address on their website was returned as undeliverable.

Prudential Law Group   Consumer Complaint   11 23 2011

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Prudential Law Group - Consumer Complaint - 11-23-2011 by

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This is information that was submitted by a third party and not generated by GetOutOfDebt.org or Steve Rhode.
  • Susanna

    I received an approach by mail from Prudential Law Group in California about reducing my monthly mortgage payments, with Pamela Gressier referenced as the legitimate contact, but was suspicious because there are so many scams out there. I am so glad that I checked online to see what I could find out before faxing my tax returns to this organization! 

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You just got this? Can you forward the mailer to me to review? You can use this link. http://getoutofdebt.org/confidential-tip-form/

    • Ryan

      I actually contacted them after seeing the mailer, for some reason I thought they were with Flagstar but of course that turned out not to be the case.  After telling me of the $3495 fee to be paid up front that’s when an alarm went off in my head, though by this point I have already sent lots of information before I was made aware of this.  I really don’t care if they are a scam or not, but paying that much up front is just not wise without a guarantee the loan will be modified.  But still its fairly suspicious feeling when the mailer doesn’t even have the name of the group sending it nor a return address.  If they really wanted to appear legit, they would certainly do this right I would think.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3FIAX67LZUONZQICP7YF6ATWLU Johnson

     Maybe if the guy tried putting the suite number on the envelope it would be delivered. Anyone should know that a 4500 address is a huge building by the airport and has a suite number. This guy is a not very bright.

  • Gilpenhollow

    Steve once again you prove you are an Idiot that law firm in California is legitimate and as RIP OFF REPORT.COM says YOU ARE NOT

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      The posting is not from me. If you have any questions about claims others make about me please see the FAQ page for clarity.

      All you’ve done here is insulted the consumer that submitted the complaint.

      Is there an information you can shed why the letter to the company at the address they list would be returned as undeliverable?

      • Guruattorney

        Its because you didn’t put the suite number on the letter. The number 1 item for submitting a tip is that, and I quote…”If you feel you have been slammed and would like to report it…”. Obviously this, and the “Is the Prudential Law Group in California, legitimate or a scam” do not fall into that category since it is not showing a scam but asking your opinion. Therefore, you are giving the world your opinion on the matter and, if read correctly, committing libel since the person has never been scammed by the individual or company that has been blatantly posted on your blog.

      • Guruattorney

        I meant scammed not slammed.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        The title on http://getoutofdebt.org/31465/is-the-prudential-law-group-in-california-legitimate-or-a-scam is from the reader question where they asked, “Is The Prudential Law Group (based in California) legitimate or a scam?”

        I can’t find where on the story it says “If you feel you have been scammed and would like to report it…”

        The company didn’t list their suite number as part of their address on their website.

  • Gilpenhollow

    Steve once again you prove you are an Idiot that law firm in California is legitimate and as RIP OFF REPORT.COM says YOU ARE NOT

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Update: Letter sent to company at address they listed on their website was returned undeliverable. Added scan of front of envelope to post.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Update: Letter sent to company at address they listed on their website was returned undeliverable. Added scan of front of envelope to post.

  • Mhill

    thanks george contsansa

  • Mhill

    thanks george contsansa

  • Richard Elie

    I have been trying very hard to track down who these people really are.

    I’m an attorney licensed in various jurisdictions, and am licensed in California.

    I received a loan mod mailer that facially appeared to be from Chase, but was quite deceptive in its language. It looked “official” save for some micro-print on the bottom which stated that the party mailing the advertisement was not affiliated with Chase. The property in question is located in Florida.

    This is the same type of advertisement, almost identical in appearance, to various loan-mod schemes that have been shut down all over the country, including California.

    My suspicions were later confirmed when I contacted the toll-free number. The woman who answered the phone call refused to identify herself, said she worked for the answering service, and said that Client Services Financial was the name of the company putting out the advertisement. She advised that the cost of a loan mod or refy package would be a one time up-front fee $3500.00, all-inclusive.

    I looked up the company name, and it turned out to be a d/b/a for a Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Broker in Newhall, CA. After contacting that party, they advised that they had nothing to do with the advertisement and that the answering service was simply wrong.

    After further investigation, it was determined that another company, One-Direct Response Marketing, Inc., was responsible for preparing, printing and mailing the mailer. They were contacted and an attorney, Craig R. Holiday, advised that Prudential Law Group was responsible for “approving” the content of the advertisement and mailed out at its direction.

    A check with the California Business Portal yielded nothing by way of identifying Prudential Law Group, as it is not a corporate entity, LLC, or anything for that matter. It appears to be a d/b/a of some sorts but its not possible to say where the d/b/a is registered.

    Thus far there is no mortgage brokerage license number printed on the mailer, so it is assumed they are not licensed to modify mortgages.

    The website for Prudential Law Group seems to be down for maintenance. Or it has simply been taken down.

    Since the property to which the mailer was addressed is located in Florida, a check with the Florida authorities yielded no mortgage brokerage license in the name of Prudential Law Group or Ms. Gerber-Gressier.

    I did verify that Ms. Gerber-Gressier is licensed to practice law in California, but I could not locate anything in Florida where she is licensed to practice law there.

    Both Florida and California prohibit the assessment or collection of an up front fee for a mortgage modification or refy. The FTC also prohibits charging an up-front fee. This is so because they do not want anyone to take a desperate homeowner’s bottom dollar, one that the person might need to use to rent an apartment or other place to live in the event they are dispossessed of their home due to a foreclosure.

    My professional law practice has been focused on defending B&PC 17200, et seq. and the CLRA, Civ.Code 1750, et seq. actions throughout California, and similar statutes in various other jurisdictions. In all the years of practice I have never seen a case that did not have a colorable defense. This happens to be one of them. If someone were to try to retain me to defend the advertisement I received, I would likely advise that they settle the case quickly or shop for their legal representation elsewhere.

    The advertisement did not identify who was sending it, had no return address, and did not list a license number anywhere. It was misleading, requiring time and effort to ascertain that in fact it was not sent by the lender. It was not until you got to the micro-print at the very bottom that you discovered that the sender was not affiliated with Chase, the lender. And most importantly, the telephone number provided led to an answering service which when pressured referred the caller to a mortgage broker who was unaffiliated with the advertiser. This was nothing more than a diversion.

    A great deal of effort was put into drawing the recipient of the ad into a seemingly bottomless rabbit hole in an attempt to learn who the recipient was dealing with. Why would anyone give their most intimate financial information to a stranger? Right?

    B&PC 17200, et seq, was designed to prevent false or misleading advertising. The advertising was definitely misleading, and likely false as a matter of law. In my professional opinion, as a lawyer, the key here is that the advertising was so misleading and confusing that it leaves little room for doubt that the least sophisticated consumer not only likely would be misled, they would be misled as a matter of law. Moreover, it also leads me to the conclusion that the way the ad was laid out, in an “official” form, the language printed on it; all of that indicated to me that in fact this material was false.

    However, the requirement that the recipient pay an up-front fee in the vain hopes that they might qualify for a loan modification or refinancing, appears to me to be nothing more than the sender attempting to sell false hopes to a down-on-his (or her)-luck homeowner. Likewise the collection of an up-front fee appears to violate Federal regs and state laws.

    As I said, I usually defend companies in these types of consumer-related issues. But this is a case I would never take on, it seems to me to be hopeless.

    As an aside, I am surprised that the Federal Trade Commission has not brought an action for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, together with damages for consumer redress. I am equally surprised that the California Attorney General has not acted on this, much less the California State Bar, since the party behind this appears, and I stress APPEARS to be a licensed attorney as opposed to some other party. This, too, can be misleading as attorneys can and are often sucked into seemingly legitimate loan mod/refy schemes, even though non-attorneys are really behind the the business.

    I am hoping that Ms. Gerber-Gressier has merely been sucked into this, rather than the one behind the advertisements. I say this, because if she in fact approved them, and was involved in the business on a day-to-day basis, such as managing it; that would prove fatal to her career as an attorney. I have seen too many good California lawyers get disbarred or suspended over these loan-mod or loan-refy schemes. Its been a regular occurrence in the Bar Journal lately where  actions are regularly announced. Lawyers should never lend-lease their licenses to businesses operated by non-lawyers who do the actual negotiation. Its very dangerous territory to tread these days.

    As for the advertisement I received, its a strong possibility an action may be brought to stop these people from propagating these misleading ads. I am reticent to just sue for no reason at all. Hopefully the practice has stopped and no further action is needed.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Elie

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Last I checked on their site, after publication of the comment by Gerber-Gressier the site has been “down for maintenance.” The few times I checked on it since, the site has had the same screen you observed as well. Image attached.

      Thank you for your long comment on this consumer complaint.

    • Anonymous help

      Try searching for a fictitious business name here, for names registered in Orange County, CA.  I did a quick search and Prudential Law Group is registered as a FBN by Ms. Gressier.  You can easily request a copy of the FBN registration to find out the any company name behind it all. https://efbn.ocgov.com/eFBNweb/

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Good tip. A search does show the following information:

        Registration Number: 20116271655
        Business Name: Prudential Law Group
        File Date: 06/24/2011
        Expire Date: 06/24/2016
        Business Owner: Pamela Gressier

    • Gary Herskowitz

      Mr. Elie, thank you for your comments as I have unfortunately been scammed by PLG.  I have done considerable research on this firm and Ms. Gressier, and have reported my findings to the FTC, Cal Bar, BBB, State Attorney, and Dept of real estate.  My digging confirms everything that you have uncovered…Gressier is not registered in Florida (my home) yet she endorsed the check when making the deposit, no lawyers worked on my case…I use the term “work” very loosely.  In fact, when I called my lender to see if PLG had called them to negotiate they told me that they never spoke to anyone at PLG and no case was ever opened to review my documents.  PLG told me that I was denied the loan mod.  How do they know I was denied if they never worked with my lender in the first place.  It appears Gressier is in the background using her credentials to lure unsuspecting clients while others do all the dirty work.  She won’t return calls or reply to emails so I’ll leave it up to the Feds to have their fun prosecuting her.    Anyway, just a little confirmation from a pissed off guy.  Gary

      • Richard Elie

        Mr. Herskowitz,

        I read the bar’s 108 count complaint against Ms. Gressier and I see you were listed in Counts Four, Five and Six of the California Bar’s complaint.

        And so your complaints did not go unnoticed. The State Bar of California has taken action against Ms. Gressier’s license. I don’t know if this will give you any consolation other than the fact that she likely is out of the mortgage modification business at this point.

        Hopefully you will be able to recover your money back. Have you made a claim against her through the client security fund? If not, here is the link for you to file a claim to try and collect your money back:

        http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/ClientSecurityFund.aspx

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    I received the following response from Prudential Law Group regarding this consumer complaint.

    Dear Mr. Rhodes:

    I am writing regarding your recent posting on your website regarding the above-referenced group:  http://getoutofdebt.org/32473/prudential-law-group-scam-report-11-23-2011

    This is the second “article” that has appeared with the huge heading of SCAM corresponding to some completely innocuous information provided by an anonymous  individual, apparently, the effect of which, as I’m sure you are aware, is to conflate our name with your website’s misleading characterization of a scam.  Not only are you creating the impression that Prudential Law Group is a scam, for some unknown reason, but you are blatantly disregarding the confidentiality of private communication in publishing an email with a confidentiality notification—both in derogation of the law, federal and state.  I can’t help but assume you are either highly negligent or maliciously targeting our group for some reason yet to manifest itself.  Regardless, demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from defaming Prudential Law Group and me further and remove the web page with our/my name on it. 

    We do a good service for people in real need but battle the marred public image of real scam artists and those who prey on distressed people.  Your blog fuels the public paranoia with baseless accusations in the form of cleverly constructed inferences under the guise of authenticity and genuine public service.  It is both a shame and shameless–moreover, illegal.  

    Pamela S. Gerber-Gressier, Esq. | Prudential Law Group
    4500 Campus Dr. # 525
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
    Toll free # 1-866-748-9506 ex. 223
    Fax # 949-325-0935
    http://prudentiallawgroup.com/

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Pam,

      I have published your response to the consumer complaint received by this site. The consumer filed out the report and submitted it to the site. 

      Can you please post a reference to a federal and state case where the unilateral footer was binding on a media outlet or interactive publisher for us to review.

      If you have not seen it already, although it was referenced in the notice of this complaint we sent your office, I might suggest you read this guide on how to best respond to consumer issues.

      Steve

      • Angelo

        Pamela, the biggest issue most of us have on this site is when consumers are charged upfront fee for services when it is against FTC rules.  Unfortunately this law was crafted by attorneys who cleverly carved out their own exemption to corner the market; as if only attorneys are capable of negotiating ha! If you are truly providing a good service and dont want to be marred by the public image of real scam artists then perhaps you should consider charging fees after you successfully modify a loan?  I know that will make paying your sales commissions difficult but its the right thing. 

        If I am wrong and you do not charge those fees in advance then I sincerely apologize but if it looks like a duck then… In the eyes of the consumer, getting defensive and threatening legal action only makes you look more like a scam artist.  If you do not charge those fees in advance and you do what you say then your approach to this article should be to proudly and professionally address the consumers concerns.

    • Chris Livingston

      Hello Pam,

      Steve passed along your concerns, and here in return are mine.

      It seems Prudential Law Group’s website is off the air at the moment, making it difficult to evaluate your firm’s advertising claims.

      Based on this post and the other one regarding PLG here at GetOutOfDebt.org, prospective customers are saying PLG doesn’t make it easy to find out its physical address.

      The post here says PLG requested a $3,450 advance fee for negotiating a lower mortgage rate.  If an actual lawyer is going to do the negotiating, then an advance fee might (or might not) be technically legal, but not if a nonlawyer “loan modification specialist” is the one supposed to be negotiating.  Neither may a lawyer use his/her credentials to facilitate the unauthorized practice of law or the violation of FTC rules regarding advance fee loan modification.

      I’m professionally skeptical of those who claim the ability to negotiate with lenders.  How is this done?  Do your “loan modification specialists” call up the mortgage lender or servicer, ask to speak with somebody who has the authority to reduce interest rates, and then convince them to do so?  What leverage do you have, other than telling the client to default on the mortgage, to inspire an interest rate reduction?  Put yourself in the lender’s place–if somebody called up out of the blue and wanted to negotiate a lower rate for a borrower, wouldn’t you say “sorry, but I have no reason to talk with you” and politely hang up?

      The privacy boilerplate footer in the email does not seem to be binding.  As far as any attorney-client privilege attaches, the client holds the privilege and can disclose the communication to anybody they like.  I’m unaware of any published court opinion that holds such footers to have any legal effect.

      There’s the claim of “defamation,” of which untruth is an element.  What part(s), exactly, of the original poster’s report is not true?

      As to the implied threat of litigation, please keep in mind California’s robust anti-SLAPP statute, which applies in state and federal court and requires those who start such activity to pay the other side’s attorney fees and court costs in full upon dismissal.  This is true even of meritorious cases, if they are filed with the purpose of infringing people’s First Amendment rights.

      I would strongly suggest that anybody in need of a modification get hold of their state housing department and find a free government-approved program rather than paying an advance fee to private parties, even lawyers.

      Call anytime 910 876 7001 if I can help you.  All the best, Chris Livingston, PO Box 220, White Oak NC 28399

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    I received the following response from Prudential Law Group regarding this consumer complaint.

    Dear Mr. Rhodes:

    I am writing regarding your recent posting on your website regarding the above-referenced group:  http://getoutofdebt.org/32473/prudential-law-group-scam-report-11-23-2011

    This is the second “article” that has appeared with the huge heading of SCAM corresponding to some completely innocuous information provided by an anonymous  individual, apparently, the effect of which, as I’m sure you are aware, is to conflate our name with your website’s misleading characterization of a scam.  Not only are you creating the impression that Prudential Law Group is a scam, for some unknown reason, but you are blatantly disregarding the confidentiality of private communication in publishing an email with a confidentiality notification—both in derogation of the law, federal and state.  I can’t help but assume you are either highly negligent or maliciously targeting our group for some reason yet to manifest itself.  Regardless, demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from defaming Prudential Law Group and me further and remove the web page with our/my name on it. 

    We do a good service for people in real need but battle the marred public image of real scam artists and those who prey on distressed people.  Your blog fuels the public paranoia with baseless accusations in the form of cleverly constructed inferences under the guise of authenticity and genuine public service.  It is both a shame and shameless–moreover, illegal.  

    Pamela S. Gerber-Gressier, Esq. | Prudential Law Group
    4500 Campus Dr. # 525
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
    Toll free # 1-866-748-9506 ex. 223
    Fax # 949-325-0935
    http://prudentiallawgroup.com/

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