Debt Relief Industry Sued or Sanctioned

Foreclosure Relief Service Provider Pays Big Bucks to Colorado

On January 4, 2010 Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced that a Jefferson County District Court judge has entered a final judgment against Sherron L. Lewis, Jr., (DOB: 9/26/1956) after he failed to respond to the state’s lawsuit over his illegal foreclosure-relief activities. The judgment permanently bars Lewis from providing foreclosure-relief services and requires that he pay $181,266 to the state in restitution, fines and costs.

According to a complaint the state filed in July 2010, Lewis charged homeowners an upfront fee and obtained an interest in their homes with the promise that he could stop their foreclosures. The complaint alleges that after accepting his fees, Lewis would assist consumers in filing legal challenges to the foreclosures. Judges have repeatedly dismissed Lewis’ challenges as meritless.

A Jefferson County District Court judge previously ordered Lewis to pay more than $76,000 in restitution to his victims, including an elderly Illinois woman under a preliminary injunction the court ordered in August 2010. The fines ordered against Lewis in August stemmed from his practice of collecting an upfront fee and acquiring an interest in his victims’ properties as part of his services, both of which violate Colorado law. – Source

The original suite filed against Sherron lewis, Jr, America’s Foreclosure Defense, Real Foreclosure Solutions, and Lewis Silver, Rossman & Levine stated:

28. Since in around 2005 and through the present, Lewis and the other defendants have employed deceptive and misleading schemes targeting vulnerable homeowners in foreclosure by offering to stop the foreclosure process in courts. Though he is not licensed to practice law, Lewis has provided purported legal advice to homeowners by encouraging them to assert frivolous legal challenges to foreclosures in state and federal courts, using legal documents and arguments prepared by Lewis.

29. Lewis collects upfront fees and acquires an interest in real property from homeowners in foreclosure in violation of the Colorado Foreclosure Protection Act.

30. Lewis fails to use the contracts and disclosures that are required by the Colorado Foreclosure Protection Act in order to protect consumers.

31. Lewis acts through his Web site, www.illegalforeclosures.com, his companies, and, at all relevant times, individually.

32. Lewis claims in direct mail advertisements and other representations that he will 5
advocate for homeowners’ rights to defeat the foreclosure process and eliminate the mortgage.

33. One of Lewis’s pamphlets states: “COLORADO JUDGES, THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ALL MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE NOW!!!! . . . . Lenders foreclosing in the state of Colorado have been breaking the LAW and the courts have been looking the other way!!! . . . . LENDERS ARE FORECLOSING ON HOMES WITHOUT ANY LEGAL AUTHORITY.”

34. An example of Lewis’s direct mail solicitation delivered to homeowners at the direction of Lewis states, in relevant part, as follows:

National City Bank is ILLEGALLY foreclosing on your property. When your home loan was assigned from Continental Mortgage to National City Bank, they neglected to file the proper paperwork with Arapahoe County. National City Bank does not have a legal right to your property, even if you have been making payments to them! Do not let them steal your home from you, call us today to STOP this illegal collection . . . . We will help you get National City Bank’s case thrown out of court . . . . Immediate action is necessary to have the best chance, so call us ASAP! Call now to set up a free consultation. For more information go to www.illegalforeclosures.com.

35. Another direct mail advertisement delivered to homeowners at the direction of Lewis states, in relevant part:

Your home is being ILLEGALLY foreclosed on by an unlawful Mortgage Company who is not playing by the rules. Your recorded Notice of Election and Demand proves this fact . . . . Due to the record number of foreclosures in the country, your mortgage company has skipped fundamental steps to speed up the foreclosure process and limit their legal expenses. How do they get away with it? These cases were simply never contested. “What you don’t know, CAN hurt you!?

We can help! Do not let your home be stolen. We will STOP this illegal collection and help you stay in your home. . . . We offer a legitimate service advocating your rights as a homeowner to provide you the option to stay in your home and potentially rid yourself of this mortgage completely.

36. Using such deceptive, false and misleading advertisements, Lewis solicits homeowners to purportedly assist with challenging the foreclosure with legal advice, legal pleadings, and legal arguments all prepared, directed and controlled by Lewis.

37. Lewis directs and causes homeowners to file, or he files himself, lawsuits challenging the foreclosure process on frivolous legal grounds. Courts have found these actions to be frivolous, groundless and vexatious—and assessed fees and costs against Lewis and his victims. Upon information and belief, Lewis has not prevailed on any of his supposed legal theories he presents to the public as protection against foreclosures.

38. Lewis has also grossly misused and abused the judicial system by filing pro se numerous spurious and vexatious lawsuits against, among others, state and federal judges, public officials, public trustees, lawyers, lenders, and against at least one of his consumer victims.

39. Lewis has attacked the judiciary by stating on his Web site, for example, “This is precisely why it is so important to submit details of your experience to help us identify the lenders perpetrating the most egregious abuses and even more critical, the various courtrooms that have perpetuated such activity by failing to act, such as the conduct of Magistrate Elizabeth Leith and Magistrate Diana Johnson-Dupree [sic] of Denver District Court.” (Available at, www.illegalforeclosures.com, last visited July 9, 2010).

40. Moreover, Lewis states, “This deliberate pattern of ‘property theft’ by the lenders and members of the legal community will continue so long as it can be kept a ‘secret’ and in the courtroom. But together, we can expose this outrageous and illegal behavior and affect [sic] a change!!” (Available at, www.illegalforeclosures.com, last visited July 9, 2010).
41. Lewis also states on his Web site:

THIS IS THE ONLY WEBSITE CREATED AND DESIGNED TO GENUINELY HELP YOU, THE HOMEOWNER, FIGHT FORECLOSURE AND KEEP YOUR HOME. WE ARE NOT A REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COMPANY NOR ARE WE ASSOCIATED WITH ANY. OUR HOPE IS THAT THIS SITE WILL HELP YOU JOIN THE FIGHT OF MANY, MANY OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY THE INSENSITIVE, AGGRESSIVE AND UNLAWFUL TACTICS OF MEMBERS OF THE LENDING COMMUNITY, THEIR ATTORNEYS AND SHAMEFULLY, MEMEBERS [sic] OF THE JUDICIARY, ALL IN THE NAME OF DENYING YOU YOUR LAWFUL AND STATUTORY PROTECTIONS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP AND DUE PROCESS OF LAW!!!
(Available at, www.illegalforecloures.com, last visited July 9, 2010).

42. Lewis has also induced homeowners through misleading and deceptive practices to enter into a “co-partnership agreement” requiring that the homeowner transfer an interest in the real property to Lewis through a warranty deed.

43. Through misleading and deceptive practices, Lewis has induced homeowners to pay him upfront and monthly fees to assist with preparing and filing legal challenges to foreclosures.

44. Lewis uses legal challenges to foreclosure to delay the foreclosure process in order to continue to collect additional fees from the homeowner and/or rental income from properties that he unlawfully acquires.

45. For example, beginning late 2008, Lewis targeted a quadriplegic man in Jefferson County and induced him to pay Lewis several thousand dollars to prepare multiple lawsuits challenging foreclosures. The courts dismissed the lawsuits and a court awarded fees and costs against the homeowner as a result of the legal pleadings and arguments asserted by Lewis.

46. In April 2010, in exchange for upfront fees, Lewis drafted for a consumer a federal lawsuit against a lender, alleging violations of civil rights statutes, constitutional protections, and claims under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Lewis did not disclose to this consumer that similar lawsuits he has prepared and filed himself or caused others to file have been dismissed and resulted in judgments for attorney fees and costs.

47. In March 2009, Lewis targeted from Colorado an elderly victim in Illinois concerning her property. Lewis contacted this victim by telephone to induce her to transfer her home by warranty deed to him so that he could purportedly assist her with a possible foreclosure. He represented that the warranty deed is necessary “as he may need to appear in court personally in the event counsel is not obtained beforehand.”

48. The victim, however, refused to transfer the property to Lewis and declined his assistance. Nevertheless, Lewis immediately occupied the property without her consent and has prevented her from gaining entry to her home, though he has no legal right, title or interest to the property. The victim received no rent or benefit as a result of Lewis’s wrongful occupation of the home for more than one year. Moreover, Lewis has prevented the victim from completing an alternative to the foreclosure, including a short sale, because he refuses anyone access to the property and has now claimed the property as part of a recent bankruptcy petition.

49. When the victim demanded possession of her home, Lewis filed a lawsuit against her in Illinois state court on or about July 13, 2009, alleging that she failed to transfer her home to him on account of racial discrimination.

50. On or about March 23, 2010, Lewis also filed a federal civil rights case against Park Ridge, Illinois and its officials for temporarily shutting off water to the home that he is unlawfully occupying after he failed to pay the water bill for a year. Lewis’s claim is based on his belief that the water was shut off not because no one paid the bill but because of his race.

51. These recent lawsuits in Illinois are akin to numerous frivolous legal actions filed by Lewis throughout Colorado federal and state courts as well as those he has caused to be filed in his victims’ names. – Source


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Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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