Attorney Daniel Gamez of Gamez Law Firm and attorney Macy Hanson from Mississippi filed a class action suit in February of 2018 that just came to my attention. The suit was filed against Kevin Mason PA, GM Law Firm, Kevin Mason, Chantel Grant, and Stuart Goldberg.
Since the suit was filed other names have become involved in the suit. A current look at the case shows Reliant Account Management (RAM) appears to have been named but not served. The GM Law Firm is being represented in this case by both Thurman Legal and Greenspoon Marder. National Legal Staffing Support and Resolvly have been added as Defendants as well in the amended complaint filed May 2, 2018.
The allegations made in the complaint are scathing in what is called the “student loan resolution scheme.”
The complaint says, “Florida attorneys Kevin Mason, Chantel Grant, and Stuart Goldberg, and their law firms, Kevin Mason, P.A., and GM Law Firm, LLC (the “Attorney and Law Firm Defendants”), along with their co-tortfeasors and co-conspirators, National Legal Staffing Support, LLC, RAM Servicing, Inc., Resolvly, LLC, and John and Jane Doe Defendants 1-5 and XYZ Business Entity Defendants 1-5 (the “presently unknown Defendants”), have committed legal malpractice (and other acts of gross negligence), or in the alternative, breaches of contract, express and implied warranties, fraud in the inducement, fraud-in-the-factum, breaches of fiduciary duties, and other violations of common law and statutory duties owed to the Plaintiffs and the Class Members that they seek to represent, comprised of current and former clients of the Defendants’ “student loan resolution” scheme.”
In general, the complaint reads much like a vanilla advanced fee debt settlement business, just with the focus now being private student loans.
What makes these issues difficult is that while private student loan lenders do settle loans like other creditors do, this isn’t necessarily a mass market solution. I mean there have been successful settlements by some in the debt relief world but they are individually tailored efforts.
The full complaint is 43 pages so I’ll just hit some highlights but you are free to read the full complaint here.
“In brief, the grossly-negligent, or fraudulent, so-called “private student loan debt resolution” legal services that the Defendants, and the presently unknown Defendants, have solicited to the Plaintiffs, and Class Members, work as follows: these Florida attorneys, through a variety of business entities, some of which, upon information and belief are incorporated in the State of Delaware, solicit (via cold calls or direct solicitations through the mail, based off of information improperly obtained by Resolvly, LLC, and then sold to the other Defendants as a part of this overall enterprise) consumers struggling with the repayment of their private student loans to enter into a so-called “private student loan debt resolution program” that the Defendants have negotiated with Sallie Mae/Navient (or other private student loan lenders). This program, upon information and belief does not, in fact exist. However, through fraud, or gross negligence on the part of the Defendants, the Plaintiffs, and the Class Members that they seek to represent, have (purportedly and allegedly) agreed to pay, unbeknownst to them, the Defendants 50% of their total private student-loan-balance, in monthly payments, for 60 months. These payments, it is later discovered (but which was not disclosed to Plaintiffs and the Class Members), are not applied, in any way, to their student-loan-balances, and instead are fees that have been kept by the Defendants, especially Florida attorneys, Kevin Mason and his law partner, Chantel Grant. Stuart Goldberg, National Legal Staffing Support, LLC, RAM Servicing, Inc., and Resolvly, LLC, also profited from this (RICO) Enterprise through servicing fees, referral fees, or through account-management fees.”
National Legal Staffing Support and RAM Servicing are claimed to have been collecting money from a California consumer but it is claimed both are not licensed to conduct business within the state of California. Resolvly is said to not be licensed to conduct business in California as well.
Several of the entities named in the suit are said to be located at 1515 South Federal Highway, Suite 121, Boca Raton, Florida 33432. These include GM Law Firm, Kevin Mason PA, Resolvly, and National Legal Staffing Support.
The suit makes some very bold and agressive accusations which I’m sure will be vigorously defended in court.
The complaint says, “The Plaintiffs, like all Class Members in this class action lawsuit, have been victims of the legal malpractice, breaches of contract and implied warranties, or, in the alternative, fraud at the hands of Kevin Mason, Chantel Grant, Kevin Mason, P.A., GM Law Firm, LLC, Stuart Goldberg, NLSS, RAM Servicing, Resolvly, and the other currently unidentified attorneys and business entities under which these attorneys have operated their so-called “private student loan resolution” legal services (the RICO Enterprise), and that
Enterprise’s related scheme of an improper client-solicitation and account-management-fee
racket operated by NLSS, RAM Servicing, and Resolvly, on behalf of the Attorney and Law
Firm Defendants, and the RICO Enterprise, in general.”
An interesting point made in the suit was that Plaintiff Matthew Ali, who is said to be legally blind, was sued by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-3. The complaint says, “It is inconceivable, and it is shocking to the conscience, that Matthew Ali would be sued, without warning, by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-3, a Delaware statutory trust, when the Defendants were representing to Matthew Ali that they were taking care of everything related to this private student loans, and that everything with his private student loan accounts was current, up-date-date, and otherwise, “fine”.”
The issue with National Collegiate Student Loan Trust is something I am afraid may happen more often. The problem, from my point of view, is we know a large number of National Collegiate Student Loan Trust loans can’t be validated or proven so with a challenge the debt can essentially be eliminated. Yet approach National Collegiate Student Loan Trust loans in a standard settlement approach may result in exactly what appears to have happened, the consumer is sued.
The complaint gives an alleged example of one of the documents sent to a consumer.
To see where the case stands today, here is the most recent docket report.