Date This Problem Happened: May 9, 2012
State You Live in: Florida
Age Range: 36-50
Total Amount of Fee Paid: $5,995
Company Name: Prudent Law / Pamela Gressier
Company Telephone Number:
Website of Company: prudentlaw.com
Loan Modification Scam
tries to carve up fees to get around the upfront fee law…violation of SB 94
in contract asks you to go delinquent on your mortgage
collects paperwork an no real effort after that.
Attorney endorses check but is never heard from until a complaint if filed.
Not one agent is licensed in any state to do loan mod work, and one agent has an expired license since 2005
Lenders will not negotiate refi work with PLG because they are a third party
agents tell you not to communicate with your lender either in writing or via phone.
A TOTAL SCAM, THE ONLY THING YOU CAN COUNT ON IS YOUR MONEY LEAVING YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT.
Consumer Action Taken:
FROM PAMELA GRESSIER
I have attempted to communicate with you rationally regarding a possible resolution to the complaints you have against Prudent Law Group. I have endured written and oral accusation of wrongdoing with no explanation of same; I have endured threats and libelous statements about me and my business. You have threatened to contact the authorities, including the State Bar, claiming wrongdoing on the part of my business and me. You have insisted on the presumed “rightness” and righteousness of your position, completely discounting any other possibility, even in compromise. Prudent Law Group has sent you, in good faith, an offer of a partial refund of your monies, the same I offered you in my last email to you, for no other reason than to come to a good faith resolution of the competing contentions—yours that we did nothing and Prudent Law Group’s that we did all we agreed to do–so we can get past this apparent impasse. I have not withdrawn that offer . However, you continually re-confirm, by your behavior, that it must be your way or no way. You have refused any offer and refused to engage with me further on the matter, choosing illicit means to collaterally attack me.
You persist in your attack. Yesterday, you contacted my partners in an unrelated business to Prudent Law Group via email with the aim to impute a false representation to them of my actions, to hold me in a bad light, in the presumed attempt to interfere with my contractual relations and my business. Your attempt seems to be to exact a personal vendetta rather than negotiate an end to this matter of money. All of this, in addition to the chronicled communications between you and Prudent Law Group and me, will not only discredit you with respect to any reports you have allegedly made, as you have “unclean hands”, but also expose another party to potential liability, Raymond Jones Financial, the company you appear to be representing by your signature in each and every email you have sent to the various victims of your fit of vengeful menace. I presume Raymond Jones is aware of your actions and supports them.
Be advised that this email communication serves as a demand that you cease and desist all further communication to me, my associates, my business and/or my agents, and discontinue any and all wrongful conduct with respect to same, including but not limited to making false reports/defamation, or I will be forced to seek the assistance of the court to get you to cease and desist your wrongful actions and further seek all the remedies at law against you and your principal, Raymond Jones.
There is nothing libelous nor false in any of these written statements, purely the facts as they exist. I do have a first amendment right which you are now threatening by your last email. I have a right and a duty to report all fraudulent activities, especially when others have reported on my same findings. That said, I am willing to put this to rest if you agree to my last offer of 5k which will cover the closing cost of my refi offer from Wells Fargo. I don’t consider your document gathering nor your cursery call to my lender for a rate quote worth very much. Not to mention they would not negotiate with you firm because of your third party status even with my signed power of attorney. And not one of your people is licensed in any state to negotiate loan modifications. If anyone is being unreasonable it is YOU considering what you face with the plethora of fraudent activities that are forthcoming. And that’s only the beginning.
Additional Consumer Supplied Documentation:
Additional Complaint Information
Complainants allege they receive direct mail advertisments deceptively designed to look like notices from their lenders concerning eligibility for a loan modification. Clients complain the company asks them to wire money in advance of providing services, but fails to complete agreements. Most complainants request refunds. The company responds to complaints by offering explanations, or indicating they have resolved issues with the client. In a few cases the company offered to re-open the file and continue trying for a more favorable outcome for the client. Refunds were not issued. Most complaints are pending.
On February 28, 2012, we wrote to this company asking them about a deceptive mailer used to solicit clients for loan modifications which appear to be sent by their lender or a government agency. We also asked them to provide and explanation how they are able to advise clients of pre-approval for the HAMP package; why they are not BAR registered in the States which they solicit business; and why they are collecting advance fees for services. The company responded on March 7, 2012 by advising the Bureau that the mailer in question was sent without the authority or approval of their law firm, and has since been revised. A copy of the revised mailer was not provided. The company contends that loan modifications are not considered the practice of law, thus they are not required to be BAR registered in the State where the client resides. They also claim they do not ask for advance fees, but rather post dated checks which can be returned if services are not performed as agreed. We believe that foreclosures, which are governed by state law, are almost always an issue with modifications because most people stop paying their mortgage when they’re upside down. Some states require judicial foreclosures and others have non-judicial foreclosures and a lawyer who isn’t licensed in another state cannot properly advise a client who may be faced with a foreclosure.
The BBB suggests that consumers be wary of attorneys offering loan modification services with advertisements that do not expressly identify by name the attorney who is responsible for the business. In some cases, office staff will not readily identify by name the attorney responsible for oversight of the business. Other signs of possible problems may be that the attorney in charge of the office is too busy or not willing to meet personally with prospective clients. Often these firms may advise the homeowner to stop paying the existing mortgage, or they make unsubstantiated advertising claims that sound too good to be true. Some of these claims might include a, “90 or 100 percent rate of success in obtaining loan modifications, or claims that a reduction in the mortgage principal is likely to be achieved. Avoid Attorneys that demand payment of a large fee, even before obtaining a prospective client’s basic income and expense information, and information about the existing mortgage and present home value. If you reside in another State keep in mind the attorney is required to be licensed to practice law in the state where the consumer resides. Consumers having a problem with the attorney handling their loan modification may contact the State Bar at 1-800-843-9053 or visit the State Bar’s Web site at www.calbar.ca.gov to find a complaint form.
Complaint: 03/21/2012: The company provides false advertisement regarding their services and charge fees to clients without providing any type of services. They are not legally equipped to provide the services that they advertise. They claim to work on residential and commercial loan workout as well as to other services. In general the company charge their clients an initial fee to work out their current loan situation taking advantage of the people that are in financial needs, especially when it comes to real estate and mortgage debts. The services are never provided and they literally steal all your information as well as your money.
Complaint: 04/03/2012: On 09/20/12 I received an “Eligibility Notice” for payment reduction with my mortgage and contact information on it. Believing the letter was directly from my lender, I made a phone contact. After brief interview I was “qualified” for a loan modification with specific terms guaranteed and I paid immediately upfront fee of $3,950. After that for 3 months the assigned case manager collected all financial documents. The phone and emails communication was narrowed only to requesting and submitting documents, no advising, no reviewing the best options, no discussing how to best proceed or no consulting on the loan modification process step by step, details, bank’s fees whatsoever. On 12/28/11 I received a Loan Modification Approval Letter from the lender with terms worse than the old I had. I did not accept them and requested my money back. I have been transferred over the phone numerous times for 10 days. Nobody I spoke with was “in the position to give me answers” and I have been told that “somebody will contact me soon”. Nobody did it until on 1/10/12, I emailed directly to the attorney Gresser. The file was resubmitted to lender, no communication at all with me. On 3/18/12, I received a phone call, nothing could be done. I requested again $3,950 back. Somebody from the office will contact me was again the answer. Today is April 2, 2012, nobody contacted me. It was a fraud since the beginning, I did not see it coming.
Business response: Client was well aware we were not his mortgage company, he signed a detailed services agreement that outlines every step of the process and what the fees are associated with. We spent months working diligently on his file, received a great loan modification saving the client money and yet he is still not satisfied. I recommend client referring back to the agreement he signed and to please give our office a call if he needs help understanding the contract. We have performed all the services agreed to and received a positive outcome for this client. We have the full file, call log, notes, signed agreement, and positive resolution to prove it. We stand firmly behind our work.
From: Pamela S. Gressier [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 06:39 PM
Subject: RE: DEMAND….SECOND NOTICE
Did you get an approved loan modification after Prudent Law Group processed your documents by submitting them to your lender and communicating with your lender and you? According to my file, the answer is yes. If your answer is no, then please tell me what services you expected to have rendered which were not rendered. You entered into an agreement with Prudent Law Group that detailed the services that were to be rendered. Are you contending that none of those services were rendered?
I have a file with detailed correspondence, proof of collection and submission of documents, and communication of an approved loan modification. These all seem like services rendered. You will need to explain what you mean when you state “for services not rendered,” which services you expected to be rendered that were not. Unless I understand what you are demanding, I cannot accede to your demand(s). You have a good faith obligation to give an explanation of and reason for your demand.
Pamela S. Gerber-Gressier, Esq. | Prudent Law Group
4500 Campus Dr. # 525
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Toll free # 1-866-748-9506 ex. 223
Fax # 949-325-0935
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 1:59 PM
To: Pamela S. Gressier
Subject: RE: Final Notice
I will not respond in writing as to the illegal and fraudulent activities that occurred, that is left for the proper authorities to investigate.
You state that your firm negotiated an approved loan modification and/or refinancing with my bank Well’s Fargo. THAT IS SIMPLY FALSE. Your services are only complete when a lender has issued, in writing, a trial or permanent loan modification or other workout (SB 94). After months of waiting for your so called “negotiators” to call me with a status update I come to find out (through someone named John in your office) that I was denied a loan modification because I pay my mortgage on time. I called my lender and they never spoke to anyone in your firm so how does Prudent Law know that I was denied? If Prudent Law knew I might be denied they should have informed me that so I could have made an informed decision before shelling out 6k. Instead, they opted to take my 6k without giving me full information. My lender did receive paperwork from your firm and tried to call PLG, but calls were never returned. In fact, they said that no file has been opened to even initiate a loan modification or refinancing in my name. Now what did I pay your firm to do, collect paperwork. I was also under the impression that an attorney would be negotiating on my behalf, I guess that would be you, but clearly you are not involved. When I call your office to speak with you I am instructed that Prudent Law is a separate entity that I must call down the road somewhere. It appears that you are not involved in any respect with Prudent Law, which may explain the multitude of complaints against your firm. You know what they are, just go online and see for yourself. You are running a CLASSIC loan modification scam. I say this because of my own investigations as well as speaking with people who are familiar with these operations. I know of numerous violations that are occurring but I am not in law enforcement so I will defer to these people.
Is that enough? I hope so. I will still survive without your refund, but how about others that are really hurting and have put their faith in you as their “attorney” to help them during these difficult times. YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH YOURSELF. SHAME ON YOU.
From: Pamela S. Gressier [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 4:13 PM
Subject: RE: Final Notice
In speaking with others who have assisted you in our office, I have confirmed the following:
Your completed compilation of documents/file was submitted to Wells Fargo at the end of February. In order to get the file into review with Wells Fargo after the package was submitted, your updated financials had to be called in to the bank before an active review could be initiated. When our office called into Wells Fargo to update the financials, the representative that we spoke with said that the file would most likely be denied because the borrower/you would qualify for HARP, being current on your loan payments, so at that time, we then went through the HARP department and updated the financials for HARP and got an approved rate at 4.375%. Your payment is $1,233, which would have resulted in a savings of $325.00 per month, but you were not satisfied with it, claiming that you were guaranteed a 2% rate and were expecting a 2% rate or a refund.
Nate, from our office, spoke to you by telephone at which time you stated that you wanted your money back for failure to submit your documents to Wells Fargo, in essence. Nate then held a conference call with Wells Fargo to confirm with them—with you on the telephone–that we submitted the file and then went through Wells Fargo procedures. At that time, Nate also explained to you that we never got a “HARD DENIAL” because we never finished the modification process (due to qualification for HARP). At that time, Nate explained to you that you did not have to accept the HARP, and we could continue the review for a modification since you felt you deserved better and you stated that you were only willing to go forward with the modification if you could be guaranteed a 3% rate. Nate informed you that he could not make any guarantees regarding the outcome of a modification and that is what has brought us up to date with your email demands.
While you are correct that our services are completed when the lender issues a trial or permanent modification or, as you state, “other work out,” which would include a HARP work out, your understanding that a specific outcome is guaranteed is incorrect. We never make guarantees of specific outcomes because the bank is the final arbiter of outcomes, not us.
Our contract states specifically, not only that we do not guarantee results nor do we perform processing that you cannot do yourself, but also that we get paid after specific steps or phases are completed, three of them. We completed all three phases if you consider the “other work out” as the HARP work out. If you consider the loan modification, then we only completed two of the three phases before you opted not to attempt a re-submission of your documents for a loan modification.
I oversee the operations of Prudent Law Group, including files, legal compliance, and employees, who are amply qualified to process loan modifications and other programs readily available to anyone on the Internet and through banks, and make decisions with respect to such operations. As such, I will refund your money for phase three of the loan modification process. My office will forward a release to you for the refund via email if you prefer.
Please confirm if that is your preferred method of delivery.
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 2:12 PM
To: Pamela S. Gressier
Subject: RE: Final Notice
I spoke with Wells Fargo and they informed me that the 4.375% is a refinance rate and they WILL NOT negotiate refinancing rates with third parties/PLG. So your people may have been quoted that rate but that’s as far as it would have gone. They will only work on refinancing options directly with the borrower.
According to SB 94 carving up itemized fees is a violation of California statue. Your offer of $1,998.33 is offensive and unacceptable. I’ve spent more time on this matter than all of your people combined.
My offer to you is $5,000 which will cover the expense of completing a refinancing option with my lender. I would like this sent via wire transfer.
I currently have two case numbers pending with law enforcement and they informed me that they will prosecute vigorously those who are in violation of federal and state laws.
Bar Complaint Filed by Consumer
To: State Bar
REF: PC #7-12-0424-004
Enclosed are my final comments with attorney Gressier. I would like to say that this is not a “fee dispute”, I have no problem with paying a fee if services are rendered. I also understand that there is no guarantee of an outcome in terms of rates or workout options. My main contention is that little or no effort was made on my behalf to negotiate with my lender Well’s Fargo. There was no REAL negotiations taking place with my lender other than one phone call to a customer service representative to obtain a quote for a HARP loan. And though the firm holds themselves out to be a law firm no lawyer represented me, only nonlicensed individuals, one of which has an expired license since 2005. Please consider the following in your review:
- I was sent a misleading advertising flyer with no return address. It looked very official as if it came from my bank.
- Was told I do qualify for a HAMP loan (2%) and that I could expect to save between $580 and $720 per month on my new loan modification.
- They asked for an upfront fee of $5,995.00
- Was told by Mr. Zadeh never to speak with my lender if they should call or write.
- Two months went by without any status update.
- Finally was informed that I did not qualify for HAMP because I am current on my mortgage.
- Prudent Law Group called my lender and was quoted a HARP rate of 4.375%. That’s as far as the process would have gone because when I called my lender they informed me that they will negotiate only directly with the borrower, NO THIRD PARTIES.
- With respect to Prudent’s contract they itemize their fees which is a violation of SB 94. In addition, page 3 recommends that you initiate delinquent payments with your lender. Ms. Gressier in her email says that her contract is in compliance with the State Bar.
- The firm employs nonlicensed individuals, and the lead attorney Gressier is not registered to practice law in Florida.
- Was threatened with slander by Mr. Nate Rhodes if I lodge a complaint.
- I demanded a refund of $5,000 which would go towards the completion of a refi with my bank. Ms. Gressier offered roughly $2,000 which I find unacceptable and offensive given their total lack of effort on this matter. I don’t consider making one phone for a HARP rate quote worth very much.
Thank You for attention to this matter.
If you feel you’ve been financially hurt by a debt relief company and deserve a refund, read these step-by-step instructions on how to proceed to attempt to get your money back.
If you do get your money back, come back and leave a comment about it. I’d love to praise companies that step-up and do the right thing for people.
Scam reports are submitted by consumers like you. If you would like to file a scam report, please click here.
If you are the company named in this report and you want to respond, please read How to Handle a Consumer Complaint Like a Pro And Come Out Smelling Like a Rose