Yesterday I posted Why Can’t My Clients from Brookstone Law Get a Fair Shake? and it reminded me to reconnect with John Wright, who had a very active blog on the mortgage modification problems facing consumers.
John was also the lead plaintiff in Wright et. al. vs. Bank of America which was the sharp end of the spear for a few years when it came to trying to get lenders to play fair when it came to mortgage modifications.
Here is what John wanted to share with you regarding his experiences dealing with covering the mortgage modification marketers.
Hi. I am John Wright from Piggybankblog.com.
I was the original plaintiff in the Wright et. al. vs. Bank of America lawsuit.
Therefore I can confidently tell you the person who wrote this post is exactly right.
That’s because the plaintiffs are not frauds and mine and their claims and allegations are absolutely true. I will give you an example. I had actually sent a letter of complaint to Countrywide for them sending out an appraiser who bragged to me that they inflate the price of the home. They told me they were going to do it with my home.
I was upset because I was an honest businessman and not shady and did not like how they would not let us chose our own appraising company. I remember I thought it was weird but now I knew why. That’s because Countrywide wanted them to inflate the price to lock us into a larger loan amount. Therefore — before anyone was even talking about it — I sent my complaint certified mail to Countrywide about it with no answer. Therefore my complaint should and is considered a report of a crime in progress.
However, I also had recordings posted on my blog where they told me not to pay my regular past mortgage payments because I got the loan modification. Bank of America — who later bought Countrywide — told me to wait for the modified payment before I pay. I did just that and called them over and over telling them I had not received the newly modified payment bill and confirmed with them not to pay the old amount. This is all on the recordings I posted on my blog.
Bank of America even sent me a congratulations letter for getting the loan modification. The modified mortgage request for payment never came though. Instead, I received a letter telling me I did not qualify for the loan mod and told me I was now on the way to foreclosure because of not making the payments.
In other words — they basically lead me to foreclosure.
This was even though they were the ones who told me not pay my original mortgage and wait until the bill reflected my new modified payment. Therefore — with no further delay — I decided to sue Bank of America for this potentially illegal and fraudulent business practice and clear marketing scam.
I also started a successful Bank of America protest site with hundreds of thousands of views to create a platform for the victims of Bank of America so they could have their voices heard along with mine.
At one point I even posted secret recordings sent to me from a Bank of America “employee” to help expose this potential scam. It worked beautifully. That’s because it was certainly enough to get people such as Matt Taibbi from RollingStone Magazine to call me.
The site tracker also showed I certainly had the attention of Bank of America and it’s CEO and from Bank of America employees around the world in minutes.
The site tracker lit up like a Christmas Tree! Even the United States Senate and House of Representatives and Office of the President of the United States came on to listen to the recording.
The recording showed that the Bank of America was potentially training the employees to laugh at Americans who did not get the loan modification. I have years later uploaded it to Youtube and will post it here in this comment because it is still the gift that keeps on giving.
Pay close attention to where they said the loan mod does not exist.
I Was So Mad at Steve Rhode
Therefore the filing of this lawsuit is how I eventually came into contact with the people at United Law Group and eventually Brookstone Law Group.
I remember I had such hopes when I first filed this lawsuit. That’s because I was confident they were legit because there were no complaints about them at the time and seemed approved by the California State Bar.
I did not think anything was wrong because I figured the State Bar would not allow them to be in business if they were not legit.
I did not realize it took agencies years to shut them down. It is something some attorneys should consider suing them for because they failed to protect the public even though they knew of the complaints for years. This is why I thought it was legit. Therefore I actually promoted my lawsuit to the public on my blog for the first month believing that the more people in my lawsuit the better. That’s because I wanted to confront Bank of America with a united force. However, there was a lot I did not know about Brookstone at the time.
I will give you an example. I did not even know Brookstone was charging people to enter the lawsuit until a supporter wrote me with excitement saying they signed up and paid the $5,000 fee. I remember I was a little stunned. However one day another supporter sent me an email showing negative articles that Steve Rhode wrote about Brookstone Law Group and the Wright et al vs. Bank of America Lawsuit. I remember I was furious and was in such denial that I just thought Steve Rhode must secretly work for the banks.
I hated it because I knew the banks were also reading what he wrote and they might exploit it such as the person of this post said they eventually did.
Therefore I came out swinging on my blog and Steve’s blog against Steve Rhode when I first read the articles. I am sure he remembers this time. It was the first time we had met years ago. However, after a few days of protest, Steve Rhode approached me on a more personal level in an email.
I remember he was really nice and very professional and very smart. However — Steve Rhode — as an experienced blogger with this kind of stuff — politely warned me blogger-to-blogger what could happen if Brookstone goes down for fraud.
He said he knew I was a good person and worried about my reputation as a blogger and as a person if it ever came out that they were a scam and people lost their money.
He told me he felt they were taking advantage of me and my hope and integrity and my platform and that I should not allow them to do that.
I trusted him and removed the promotion and never promoted them again after that month. However, at the time I remember I still did not think they were crooked but just realized he was right and removed the promotion.
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I took even extra precautions by putting a disclaimer on the site telling the public that there was stuff about Brookstone on the internet and to therefore proceed with caution.
I showed it to Steve Rhode to see what he thought and he liked it and therefore I posted the disclaimer on the blog. I am sure much to the authorities’ delight. That’s because — oh yeah — the site tracker showed that the FBI and State Bar and Homeland Security were on my site every single day for 8 years.
It was — of course in the end — one of the best decisions I made as a blogger — in which I have Steve Rhode to thank for this decision. That’s because he saved my ass in the end and I will never forget that he did that for me as a blogger and person and as a good human being. That’s because he had no reason to help me at that time after I was publicly going after him and his blog.
However — in conclusion — as a result of his email to me — Steve Rhode and I became very good friends over the years. We would even work together with our blogs exposing other crooked law firms. It was during this time that I realized that Steve Rhode is one of the most accurate and best investigators I have ever met on the internet in 10 years.
It is because of this I learned a lot from Steve about how these scam shell law firms work and now can pick them out in a flat second. First lesson: THROW AWAY ALL THE LAW FIRM SOLICITATION MARKETING LETTERS IN YOUR MAILBOX. THAT”S BECAUSE IT”S USUALLY A MARKING SCAM. However — if you can’t resist — at least contact Steve Rhode to investigate it for you. That’s because I can confidently tell you he is one of the most honest and best investigators out here on the internet.
Thank you for sharing this post, Steve. Also, thank you for your years of loyal friendship. You will always be one of the good guys in my book.
Your friend always,