BRIAN ALAN WALKER [#206146], 42, of Fullerton was disbarred March 23, 2012, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.
Walker stipulated to six counts of misconduct in 24 loan modification matters in which he allowed nonlawyers to run three businesses Walker had started. Prior to April 2008, Walker had a financial company, Walker Capital Funding, where he handled loan modifications. He then decided to instead offer the loan modification services through his law offices in order to comply with state regulations that govern loan modification and advance fees.
Between March 2008 and December 2009, Walker used several business entities to handle loan modifications, including the Walker Law Group, Rockfield Law Group (RLG), Legal Eagle Financial (LEF), Loss Mitigation Services (LMS), Homeowner’s Assistance Law Group, and the Law Offices of Brian A. Walker.
Three of the companies — RLG, LEF and LMS — were run by nonlawyers. Walker paid the individuals who ran RLG and LEF a fixed percentage of advance fees paid by each client. LMS charged each client $3,500 and paid Walker $1,000 per client for files he processed and a $200 fixed fee for every opinion letter he wrote. Walker authorized his name on LMS letterhead, retainer agreements and authorization forms as a way to enhance the company’s bargaining position with lenders. Clients were potentially misled into believing they were represented by an attorney when they were not.
Together, the three companies processed about 450 loan modification files over six months.
Walker stipulated that he split fees with nonlawyers, failed to perform legal services competently and allowed LMS to send out deceptive communications designed to mislead the public.
In mitigation, Walker had no prior discipline and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation. He submitted his resignation in December 2009, but it was declined by the Supreme Court and Walker willingly stipulated to disbarment. He does not believe that providing loan modification services constitutes the practice of law.
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