Received a Form 1012-R mailer from UFAN I called the # 1-866-395-7446 i was transferred to a legal assistant named Jacob Rasmussen.
After explained all my situation he said that I will have to sent in a copy of the DOT (Deed of Trust) and the engagement agreement signed in order to be set up for a consultation with an attorney and if I qualify a $5K engagement fee would be charged.
I told him that I have been burned out before and I wouldn’t advance any money until I see results.
He said to send him the DOT and that he would get back to me and he would like to have the engagement agreement signed as well. Attached are the things he sent me. it came from email@example.com with a Toll Free (877)791-2247”
Thank you for including the additional documents you received.
I suppose what concerns me the most about these offers is that you are being pitched the benefits of a legal action against your lender by a non-attorney. These mass joinder actions have resulted in a number of law offices being raided and client records being seized by the California Bar. You can read about that here.
This is not to say that you should not participate in any legal action that you want to take but that you need to be aware of what you are walking in to. It seems that up until now you’ve been pitched participation based on a mailer and that pitch is attempting to encourage you to pay $5,000.
It does not seem that up to this point you’ve actually had a conversation with the lawyer that would be representing you so I’m left with looking at the documents you sent me to get a better idea of exactly what you are trying to be sold.
If we push past all of the “banks are evil” and they screwed consumers, what we appear to be left with are claims UFAN is making about the outcomes of your investment and an action against the lender.
Here is what UFAN says:
Pre-trial settlement: As each client joins the multi-party action the lender will receive a pre-trial settlement demand. The litigator may negotiate a viable settlement. The potential terms of this settlement are on a case by case basis.
Amnesty Program: It’s foreseeable that the government may become involved in this crisis. If so council will work with legislation to create a potential amnesty program. The results of which will likely be a universal modification approach. If successful, this process will indemnify the lending institutions from multi trillion dollar litigation while providing homeowners universal term reductions. Counsel anticipates our clients “having a seat at the table” may afford increased settlement options.
Judgment: Counsels goal will be to seek a complete dismissal of the lien. – Source
But along with that hopeful language, UFAN also says “there are no guarantees of any specific outcome.”
You acknowledge that the Firm has not made and will not make guarantees regarding the successful outcome of the litigation, and all expressions we make are matters of opinion only. You agree that you shall not rely upon any statement we make as a guarantee in any way, shape, or form.- Source
What You Are Being Asked to Pay
According to the client engagement document that you are being urgently asked to sign before a consultation with an attorney, you need to understand what it says.
You are being asked to pay a “Non-Refundable and Non-Creditable True Retainer Fee paid pursuant to the foregoing legal Retention Agreement: $5.000,00 fixed fee due at time of execution. After the initial fixed fee of $5.000,00 , there will be no further payments unless and until steps are necessary to protect Client(s) from a pending foreclosure sale.
Foreclosure prevention will be deemed necessary upon the issuance of the Notice of Trustee Sale (NOTS). If such steps become necessary the following recurring fee will be triggered:
$1000.00 paid on the first of month following the recording of the NOTS;
$1000.00 paid on the first (1st) of each month thereafter throughout the duration of litigation.
These payments are not to exceed $7,000 in an 18 month period.
All fees must be paid to:
UNITED FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY NETWORK, PC
1490 Stone Point Drive, Suite 100
Roseville, CA 95661 – Source
To start right off, the agreement says it is between you and the UNITED FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY NETWORK, PC.
According to the State of California records, there happens to be no registered business by that name.
In addition to the amount of money you are being asked to pay with the retainer, it also says you will have to pay thirty-five percent (35%) of any monetary compensation you receive.
How Long With This Take to Get My House?
Let’s turn again to the UFAN FAQ. Here is what they say:
The actual time frame for the current suits is undetermined at this time. There are many compensating factors that could expedite or extend the litigation process. As a result, the plaintiff borrower should prepare for a lawsuit that remains pending for 1 – 3 years, perhaps longer. – – Source
So this is not a quick fix solution. There is no idea how long a case will take nor that there will be a successful outcome. If you are considering such action as a way to keep your house, then you may want to read this statement by another attorney pursuing similar cases.
Let me be very clear: joinder cases are not about emergency relief. They won’t stop a foreclosure, or get a house back. Except as the result of a settlement (which are few and far between), they won’t result in a loan modification. – Source
So, What to Do
At the very least, before jumping into such an action, the best advice I can give you is:
- to not rely on the statements of a non-attorney sales person;
- be sure to read and understand any document you are being asked to sign; and,
- get a second opinion from a licensed attorney in your state before you jump into anything.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.