An attorney that will remain unnamed was brave enough to share their experience working for a debt relief company to help other attorneys that might consider doing the same thing.
It’s a good example of what attorneys should watch out for to avoid getting into trouble.
What I Learned From Being Hired by a Debt Relief Company
This is a comment for people seeking relief from predatory home loans. Since I am a lawyer, I choose to keep this anonymous. I have been a lawyer for about 15 years. I have litigated cases on behalf of consumers and injured persons against large corporations.
Be careful. I’ve seen the fraud from the inside. I was hired by one of these sham companies as a lawyer. I was under the impression this was a law firm that would litigate cases against predatory lenders to a fair resolution.
Within a few days, I learned the only intention of the company was to take money from those who have lost or face losing their homes. I would advise not to pay money up front.
In my experience, the better plaintiffs’ lawyers take cases on contingency and don’t take money up front from clients who are obviously suffering. Also, check up on the business or firm. Find out who the principals are. If the business is promising to file a lawsuit on your behalf, is it a law firm? Are the owners lawyers? If they are not, they are practicing law without a license.
Google the principals one by one. Find out who they are. If they are lawyers, find out anything and everything you can about them. Usually Googling these people will turn up useful information.
Unfortunately, I found out after I hired on with one of these companies, what they were. What I found sickened me.
These people had other companies and related entities doing similar dishonest business, basically taking money from distressed homeowners and promising them money from a lawsuit, as well as better financing terms.
I found these people had administrative orders against them in other states for having done the same fraud. These people were willfully dishonest. They had been caught before and continued with the same fraud on others. They just closed up shop under one of their fictitious business names and opened another business down the road with a different name. I worked for one of these outfits for one week before walking away. I never was paid by the company.
A few days after I left I received a phone call from a woman who was considering signing up with this company. She told me she had been given my State Bar number by one of the men at this company. This person was using my bar number to perpetuate fraud.
I contacted one of the principals and was told they had not used my bar number. This was a lie. At that point, I decided to contact all authorities to report this company and hopefully keep distressed homeowners from being defrauded.
I contacted the State Bar, the State Attorney General’s Office and the local district attorney’s offices. Eventually, I was contacted and I signed declarations for the Feds in support of its action to stop the company. I have been told by federal lawyers the company has been shut down and the principals are in the process of being brought to justice.
In conclusion, be very careful. Check up on these companies and their people. Assume anything negative you find is true and go the other way.