Last weekend the New York Times ran an article about a lawyer, Peter Ticktin, in Florida that was placing second mortgages on homes we was able to save from foreclosure.
Ticktin, of Ticktin Law Group in Deerfield Beach, FL is quoted as saying, “We thought, ‘Why don’t we use a bit of ingenuity to find an affordable way to represent them?’ ”
The New York Times reported that the Ticktin has some 3,000 foreclosure clients and his loans for his fees secured by the clients house will be payable in monthly installments.
Those fees are 40 percent of the savings of a mortgage that gets reduced or wiped out by their efforts. Imagine a house is worth $200,000 and the Ticktin lawyers find some loophole to cancel the mortgage. The consumer is now on the hook with a new mortgage against their property for $80,000.
When asked what would happen if clients that had avoided foreclosure using the services of the firm and did not make their monthly payments, “We would never enforce the mortgage and foreclose.” So why secure his legal fees against the property at all?
The story continues. According to the Sun Sentinel, Peter Ticktin had his law license suspended twice in 2009.
Last spring, the Bar cited Ticktin for paying New York foreclosure defense attorney and real estate investor Hilton Wiener for client referrals and other work. Wiener, who worked with the Ticktin firm until May 2009, says he went to the Florida Bar with a number of complaints about the firm’s operations.
“The reality is the attorneys there are spending the majority of their time recruiting new business,” he said. “There were stacks of hundreds of messages of unreturned phone calls.”
Ticktin agreed to a 15-day suspension for giving Wiener a 25 percent referral fee for bringing cases into the firm, as well as payments for other work. Wiener, who is licensed to practice law in New York, is not licensed in Florida. Bar rules prohibit attorneys from sharing legal fees with non-attorneys. – Source
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