I was looking up this law firm; The Law Firm of Macey, Alman and Searns.
I was looking on the web today to find answers and or a solution to my mortgage dilemma. I came accross a site :
US Mortgage Relief, called the 866 number and signed up with this firm…
I since have called them back to see if they were listed with the BBB of Scottsdale Az. and the woman I spoke with said; “yes, I think so..” so, I went to the bbb website in Scottsdale AZ and cannot find them under their Law firm name OR website name. Can you help me in making a good and sound decision before I send them dime.. they are asking $2400.00 in three installments of $800. In the mean time, to not pay my mortgage. They then will deal with my lender to get them to put my two months that I am behind, to the back of my loan. But this may take time, so, then I could become further behind in my payments.. I don’t know what to do… I don’t want to be scammed… I am not to make a payment until this friday. So, please help me out. Should I trust this Law firm?
Is this Law firm a scam? I cannot find them with the BBB of Scottsdale, Az.
Thank you so much!!!
Thank you so much for attaching the documents they sent you as well.
First, let me start with the website your contract says is related to the transaction, masmortgagelaw.com
While that site certainly looks like it is the site of The Law Firm of Macey, Alman and Searns or Mortgage Law Group, it is actually owned by:
Underwater Property Solutions, LLC
8776 E SHEA BLVD
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Underwater Property Solutions says the managing members are Christopher Sauer and the Sauer Revocable Trust
The domain name was registered on March 18, 2011.
The fact that you could not find the company you thought you were dealing with in Scottsdale is not surprising. It appears this website is a marketing or affiliate of the law firm. But even a search for Underwater Property Solutions on the BBB could not locate a listing.
But not only is the website not who they appear to be but the mailing address related to the website is a UPS Store. – Source
The Law Firm of Macey, Aleman and Searns
This lawfirm has been heavily involved in the debt settlement world as well under the name Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. You might want to read some of the previous stories here.
The cover letter you were given lists their address as:
17767 N. Perimeter Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
That address is actually associated with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, American Platinum Financial Services, Underwater Property Solutions, and National Debt Assistance. – Source
And a job posting at that address spells out the relationship clearly when it says:
Underwater Property Solutions is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and is a leading source for loan modification and debt relief for people throughout the country. Our team has decades of experience successfully providing relief for struggling Americans. We have teamed up with the Nation’s largest debt solution law firm, The Law Firm of Macey, Aleman and Searns, to offer our clients a wide range of solutions to their financial troubles. Because of this partnership, we are experiencing phenomenal growth, and we are looking for team members that are motivated by the opportunity to grow along with us. – Source
It looks like the job description of the person you spoke with at Underwater Property Solutions has the following job description.
This is a phone-based sales position. We provide well qualified leads generated from a variety of marketing sources, there is no cold calling. We will teach you our rational, consultative sales process and give all the tools you need to succeed. Most of our clients sign documents electronically, so new Advisors can begin earning strong bonus dollars immediately after graduating from training. We provide the leads, training, processes, and clear performance expectations. You provide the ambition, willingness to learn, and desire to help Americans protect their homes and improve their financial stability.
The Advisor role offers an aggressive compensation plan that motivates Advisors to strive for six-figure incomes. We motivate our sales floor with regular contests as well as team recognition. Skilled sales professionals can expect to earn in excess of $80,000 annually, and an average rep can expect to earn 55K in their first year. We provide consistent coaching to help Advisors reach their goals. – Source
The Mortgage Law Group Retainer
Let’s take a look at the document they want you to sign.
I’ll just hit some highlights for you to pay attention to.
There is no guarantee that they will be able to help you, only that they will “attempt” to help you. And paying for this help does not prevent you from being sued by your creditor. “In the event a creditor or collector sues…” If you are sued the agreement says The Mortgage law Group “…is under no obligation to provide representation.”
You would assume that the agreement says they will work with you “…until the negotiated resolution of a mortgage workout…” In fact that section of the agreement references another part of the contract that says the agreement can be terminated at any time by you or them.
It also says the law firm you have hired may not even be the people that provide you with service. They say the services may be subcontracted out and from the looks of the job posting for a loan negotiator by Underwater Property Solutions they will be the ones doing the work.
You will be representing the client on behalf of The Law Firm of Macey, Aleman, and Searns, the nation’s largest bankruptcy law firm. Through our close working relationship with The Law Firm (including on site attorneys and attorney oversight in each state) we are able to provide outstanding representation to our clients while expanding the range of services offered by The Law Firm. More than 80 employees in our North Scottsdale location service 1000 plus active loan modification clients, nationwide.
Ultimately, the Negotiator position is both challenging and rewarding. If you are driven to help people stay in their homes, and have the appropriate background, we are interested to speak with you. – Source
While you are paying thousands of dollars for mortgage modification assistance, this page of the agreement appears to say that if they obtain a temporary or trial modification, that will be considered as full satisfaction of their obligation and they are not required to help you get a permanent modification.
They say, in all capital letters that they guarantee no result nor even that they can workout a resolution that is beneficial to you.
If you decide to cancel the agreement you will be responsible for fees from each sub-stage of the services provided.
On this page they finally disclose the relationship with Underwater Property Solutions.
You can pay by credit card or electronic payment. If you ask to change the date your payment is drafted on it will cost you $40 and if any payment bounces you will be hit with a $35 fee.
Here is where you agree:
- The outcome is uncertain.
- You mortgage company can harass you and continue collection calls during the process.
- You can receive notices of default and notices of sale of your property.
- You can be sued by your lender and you may be foreclosed on.
The performance standard for the agreement does not mean you will be satisfied with the outcome, but that absent all of your other debt it will improve your cash flow.
This service will have a negative impact on your credit report, especially since they have already told you to stop making mortgage payments.
And here is where they finally tell you that even though they will charge you a big fee of thousands of dollars for mortgage help, it’s not necessary.
It is not necessary to pay a third party to arrange for a loan modification or other form of forbearance from your mortgage lender or servicer. You may call your lender directly to ask for a change in your loan terms. Nonprofit housing counseling agencies also offer these and other forms of borrower assistance free of charge. A list of nonprofit housing counseling agencies approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is available from your local HUD office or by visiting www.hud.gov.
By signing this agreement you are agreeing you will have to agree to arbitration for any dispute.
The document is signed by Jason Searns as the managing partner of The Mortgage Law Group. Interestingly the Mortgage Law Group appears to be a Nevada corporation that was formed on 3-31-2011. – Source
This page begins to describe some of the common debt intervention methods available.
The interesting point on this page is the statement:
TMLG will contact all your mortgage lenders in writing that you are represented by the law firm and that we are advising you as to all alternatives for debt resolution. As you have indicated in your compliance review, you prefer TMLG to attempt debt negotiation as an alternative to bankruptcy.
Is that really what you want to do or indicated?
Remember when I pointed out those partial fees you might owe if you terminate the agreement? Well here is where the stages are broken down. Bottom line is the service will cost $2,500 for them to not be able to guarantee they can help you save your mortgage.
Before you make such a large investment into services that appear to provide no guarantee or protection from your creditors you should first contact your lender directly and ask them for assistance. If they are unable to assist you then locate a HUD housing counselor in your area.
You need to understand there is NO requirement for any lender to modify any mortgage. Consumers have been advised by other states to NOT pay for any services for mortgage modification help in advance.
In fact the Federal Trade Commission has issued comprehensive rules on mortgage assistance relief services (MARS Rule).
According to the rule: It’s illegal to charge upfront fees. You can’t collect money from a customer unless you deliver – and the customer agrees to – a written offer of mortgage relief from the customer’s lender or servicer.
Lawyers have additional duties and responsibilities when offering mortgage relief services, including the following examples of activities that likely could cause attorneys to lose their exemption include:
- Allowing their name to be used in solicitations to clients without actively providing legal services in connection with mortgage assistance relief services;
- Misrepresenting any material aspect of their legal services, including the likelihood they’ll get a favorable result, an affiliation with a government agency, or the cost of their services;
- Sharing legal fees for MARS-related services with non-attorneys;
- Helping non-attorneys engage in the unauthorized practice of law;
- Failing to keep clients reasonably informed about their matters, including the potential for adverse outcomes;
- Failing to work diligently and competently on behalf of their clients – that is, not making reasonable efforts to get mortgage assistance relief; and
- Engaging in a widespread telemarketing operation staffed by non-attorneys. – Source
So Katie, I’ll leave it up to you to review my feedback and information and come to a conclusion yourself about what you want to do.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.
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14 thoughts on “Is The Mortgage Law Group and The Law Firm of Macey, Aleman, and Searns a Scam? They Told Me Not Pay My Mortgage. – Katie”
Run for your life. I signed with this scam of a company in Sept 2011 aft my mortgage company was lax on modifying my loan. The recession had grabbed my bank account and although I kept my job income was greatly reduced. I initially paid 1750.00 over two payments and the process started. I provided every doc requested, most times multiple copies because they say they didn’t received them. From Sept to Dec 2011 I paid 345 per month for foreclosure defense and from Jan to may 2012 500 per for modification. I received a sale date notice in April 2012 and promptly forwarded to mlg. They assured me my paperwork was being sent to a local attorney and this should be wrapped up and the sale notice would stop. I had signed a cease and desist notice so my lender was unable to contact me. My case was went to the parallel dept 2 sis before sale and I thought all was finally proceeding as planned. 1wk prior to sale I became very uncomfortable because now I was calling the lender and the court and was told no current docs were submitted on my behalf so I had savings in 401k and I put in for a hardship loan to reinstate arrears and modify later. MLG say they made calls requesting a postponement because the money wouldn’t hit my bank until one day aft sale. They sold the property and MLG only answer to me was that they could assist me with cash for keys. To this day I do not know the true path my case went and what went wrong. I was not told of any qualification problems or anything and MLG has still not responded to my request for a refund but they did cancel my contract per my request. Lender complaint division contacted me 2wks aft sale and says they are requesting to vacate sale and I can reinstate and modify later. I sent complaints to anyone who had an email so someone must have contacted them. This is the third week of waiting how this will work out between me the courts and the mortgage company and its pretty much put my life on hold. Have heard a word from MLG at all. Keep this company far as far away as you can. Scam scam scam. By the way the bank bought the property because no one else bid at the sheriffs sale. Not sure how all this works, do I restructure loan? Do I have to pay court cost and foreclose fees? Is there options for payment arrangements? I have left messages with the lender for 2 wow now with no reply although I was told I should know something 5 days after request to vacate was submitted. I’m waiting on the outcome of the property issue to play out them its full steam after MLG. I have all docs, exactly lime the ones submitted in this post, and tons of emails because that was the main sourceof our communication. STAY AWAY from MLG
OMG!!! I have been scammed.
This company needs to be put out of business, not only are the Attorney’s just greedy, but also very shady if they need to hide under so many different company names. I also know they outsource 90% of all their modification help with a firm in Juno Beach Florida. They are under investigation not only once but twice now. I am drafting a formal letter to the Attorney General on behalf of all the clients that are paying way to much, for something they can do on their own with a little guidance. Both companies above are linked to the “mass joiner” lawsuit that was just taken down in California. The ruling that ONLY Attorney’s can collect up front fee’s has open the flood gates for bad Attorney’s to take advantage of homeowners who are struggling. I don’t understand why homeowners pay attorney’s so much money to save their home.
DO NOT HIRE LEGAL HELPERS DEBT RESOLUTION, AKA LAW OFFICE OF MACEY, ALEMAN, HYSLIP AND SEARNS, THEY TOOK ME FOR 2800.00 AND NOW MY HOUSE IS IN FORECLOSURE AND AM FORCED TO DO A SHORT SELL. NOT TO MENTION THAT THEY REFUSE TO REFUND MY MONEY AND NOW IT IS IN THE HANDS OF LEGAL ATTORNEY’S WHO WILL HOPEFULLY STOP THEM FROM EVER MAKING ANOTHER PERSON HOMELESS AGAIN.
They Screwed me in hawaii. $4000.ºº
I hope I do not lose my home cause of them.
Aloha John Green
do urself favor and drop them they have not helped 1 person they are a scam… they were kicked of the bbc and shut down before and then reopened under another name they are just a company of some underwater llc just directing ppl my mom is actually on the phone with htem now we are a month away from losing my home get urself another lawyer asap or u like others will be homeless they are a phoney!!!!!!
my husband got laid off from work in 9/2009 and has been on unemployment ever since having problems trying to find a job and in April I was let go from my job I will have unemployment until April 2012 my husbands unemployment is ending 9/19/2011 and I was on a site that I saw a good comment about the mortgage law group how it helped them redo there loan for there mortgage so I went on the site and applied and talk to them today and they said we would qualify because us being on unemployment but they told me not to make my mortgage payment and pay them so they can get the loan modified I don’t know what to do I know I should pay it I want to
can you find out if they are the real deal
What are you hiring them to do for you? What service are they trying to sell you.
for a loan modication
so are you stating that mortgage law group is stating they can help us but not a gaurtee they told me that if they can’t help us they don’t take the money
I’m not sure I understand your statement.
is what I was saying is that this company contacted me by phone after the fact that I filled out some info on the internet looking for someone to help me on my mortgage since we both my husband and I are both not working so THE MORTGAGE LAW GROUP contacted me stating for me to pay them $1195 on 9/30 and $900 on 10/30 and $900 on 11/30 and not to pay my mortgage I told him that is not what I want to do because this is the house I live in I am not going to lose my house I was just wondering if you think this is a real company address is 233 s wacker dr Chicago,IL tel number of 312-429-6885 and they gave me toll free number 888-591-6555 also see them in Az also I was just concerned if I should go with them or not
Do You Realize your website has links to exactly these kinds of firms. Are you a lawyer, and if so why are you running a site that is advertising such services.
Ads you may see are determined by Google, not me. See this for more information.