A tipster (send in your tips here) sent in a copy of the Precision Law Center mass joinder litigation engagement package they received.
As you will see the pitch is that for a “retainer” of $5,500, Precision Law Center is selling the consumer into a mass joinder lawsuit which marketers have made all sorts of claims can eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of the mortgage and result in the consumer getting large sums of money as damages.
No case has actually completed yet and there are other documents on this site showing mass joinder marketers are making as much as 80% of retainers charged as marketing fees.
There is real concern that consumers may be paying a significant amount of money for a service that may not stop a foreclosure and not be resolved for many years.
I thought I’d run through a number of items in this engagement package and point out some issues that you should be aware of if you are considering such a solution.
Not much to say, just the cover page.
The agreement says that Precision Law Center has assisted consumers “over the last several years.” Their website says it is copyright 2009 which would support that statement. – Source. Interestingly the domain name PrecisionLawCenter.com exists only back to 2-10-2011. There Twitter account they link to at the bottom of their site has not sent a single tweet. – Source. There linked Facebook page is blank. – Source.
Precision Law Center lists their addresses as:
6 Hutton Center Dr. Suite 600
South Coast Metro, Ca 92707
6 Hutton Center Dr, Suite 600 is a virtual office space. – Source
8 Corporate Park
Irvine, Ca 92606
8 Corporate Park is a virtual office space as well. They don’t list the suite number for this space but it is probably Suite 300. – Source
17011 Beach Blvd. Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca 92647
This seems very unusual for a law firm that claims extensive capabilities that has been around for a number of years.
The BBB has no record of any business named Precision Law Center. – Source
Precision Law Center makes it appear they are a law firm but they don’t list and lawyers on either their contact or about us page even though they say “Our team has extensive experience in all areas of real estate law,” and “Our attorneys provide superior legal services to virtually every type of client in the banking and financial services industry.” . – Source.
They only mention of an actual attorney is for a Christopher Persaud, Esq on a case that was filed on April 1, 2011. – Source. Christopher Persaud, Esq. has a F rating with the BBB.
The BBB states the following information about the Law Office of Christopher Persaud:
Complainants allege unfulfilled contracts, failure to honor their money back guarantee, and inability to obtain refunds when the company fails to provide modifications. Other customers complain that their financial hardships escalate due to months of waiting in expectation of loan modifications that do not materialize. Some report losing their homes due to excessive waiting periods for services to be provided. Other clients complain that lenders refuse their modifications, however the company repeatedly re-submits requests in lieu of issuing refunds as agreed. Most recent complainants report the company is no longer operating from addresses or phone numbers provided, and they have been unable to reach anyone by phone or email. The company responds to some complaints by disputing that services were not provided, or that the company failed to contact clients on the status of their cases. In some cases the company did agree to a refund or partial refund, however, some complainants contend the company failed to issue the refund as agreed. Some complaints are unresolved meaning the company failed to properly address the complaint allegations or their response was inadequate. – Source
Precision Law Center has been sending out misleading mailers labeled as Form 1012 official looking notifications. – Source
Ironically, even though they saw “we have assembled an aggressive and talented team of litigators,” the only other attorney I could find that listed Precision Law Center was Lloyd Ward who says “We at Precision Law Center do not believe a lack of education is any reason why anyone should lose their home.” – Source. It appears Lloyd Ward has shifted his operations from selling debt settlement to now selling mass joinder cases. They are either operating in cooperation with the Precision Law Center or they just copied their website because the Lloyd Ward page matches word-for-word.
Client will be responsible “pay all fees and costs set forth below and the failure to pay costs represents a reason for withdrawal as counsel.” Regarding those fees and costs, “PLC will not provide you with bills for our services relating to our Representation, unless such pertain to matters that may be reimbursable in any civil action. You authorize PLC to track its time and to apply to the Court for payment of legal fees, which range from $100.00 per hour to $1,000.00 per hour.”
If they run up a bill you can’t pay, they may no longer represent you and your initial payment, in this case, of $5,500 is non-refundable. “You agree and acknowledge that the fee you pay to our PLC is a non-refundable, non-creditable retainer.”
I did find it a bit odd that the consumer is said to select the litigation matter to be included in, shouldn’t that be a decision best left to the attorney?
So the consumer not only pays $5,500 to get into the case but is also agreeing to pay 30% of any financial benefit received because of the case, even if you withdraw from the case for any reason. “Our contingency interest in this case is thirty percent of the gross monetary amount recovered in the lawsuit. If you elect to terminate the relationship at any time, our contingency interest shall remain.” I don’t know about you but that’s pretty scary to pay $5,500 upfront and then if you later change your mind the contingency interest shall remain.
In this case the agreement says Precision Law only practices law in California but the folks that received this agreement do not live in California.
I’m curious, the agreement says it is not valid unless signed in Los Angeles but their offices are not located in Los Angeles.
This page is very interesting indeed. It makes promises based on an estimated value, in fact when I went and researched the address the $80,000 value was the tax assessed value and not the property value. According to Zillow the home is valued at $260,000. Even if we take that as a gross approximation of the value, it’s still nowhere near the value they listed.
The settlement worksheet shows the client is three months behind on their mortgage which leads me to wonder if they were “sold” that if they participated it would stop any foreclosure proceedings. Other mass joinder attorneys have made it clear that this is not the case.
The estimated proposed loan balance is way off if the market value is actually $200,000 more than estimated.
The agreement appears to promise the consumer will receive:
- Forgiveness of all delinquent payments, fees and penalties.
- Halt and reverse foreclosure proceedings. (So OK, that was promised.)
- Credit restoration
- Possible Compensatory damages in the amount of $22,500
- Possible Punitive damages in the amount of $52,500
At the bottom Precision Law says the estimates on this sheet may be adjusted by them. So what are they really forecasting then? Is it all fiction?
This agreement is for a full payment of the retainer of $5,500 but it appears installment payments are available as well. But if you don’t pay them, you go to collections.
They will hit your bank account for the entire amount if you want.
So even though this consumer is three months behind, Precision Law Center is not asking for any hardship letter and has appeared to promise foreclosure proceedings will be stopped and revered.
Oh this is going to end badly. I can feel it in my bones.