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Michael Harper Appears to Toss Greenspoon Marder Under Bus to CFPB

By on September 25, 2014

In this case against an alleged mortgage relief enterprise that just gets stranger and strange, Defendant Michael Harper has adopted a new approach, throw law firm Greenspoon Marder under the bus.

The case filed by the Florida Attorney General and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against Hoffman Law Group some involved recently resulted in a long and strange tale by the court appointed receiver. You can read it here.

But a reader just sent in a new document and asked me to look at page 9 in which Harper and his attorneys at Hornstine, Pelloni & Hornstine seem to be pointing the blame for Harper’s legal issue to Greenspoon Marder and other lawyers.

The document says:

DEFENDANT MICHAEL HARPER’S FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Reliance on the Advice of Counsel

For a first, separate and distinct defense, Defendant Michael Harper relied upon the advice of counsel for all actions that are alleged in the Plaintiff’s Complaint. Defendant Michael Harper is not an attorney, and never held himself out to be an attorney. The business model at issue in this case taken by Defendant Michael Harper or through the Defendant Entities was taken after the advice of counsel. Greenspoon Marder represented Defendant Michael Harper and the other Defendant Entities. The counsel was believed by Defendant Michael Harper to be competent. Defendant Harper disclosed all facts that he believed to be relevant to Greenspoon Marder’s representation. According to the allegations in the Plaintiffs’ Complaint, if proven true, the advice and representation by Greenspoon Marder in representing Defendant Michael Harper was erroneous in stating that the conduct of Defendant Michael Harper and the Defendant Entities was within compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Defendant Michael Harper acted in accordance with the advice of Greenspoon Marder after it was rendered.Source

It it might just be my crazy opinion but it seems in the debt relief industry, when the shit hits the fan, the players turn on each other. “It’s not me, it’s them.”

It also appears Harper is calling Greenspoon Marder as incompetent since the Harper filing says he believed they were competent and then turned out to be something other than that.

I think those inside the debt relief industry can agree that much of the red state-green state, loophole stuff that has gone on is based on creative thinking but calling Greenspoon Marder incompetent seems like a far stretch. I might not always agree with the positions taken by the crew at Greenspoon Marder but you have to give them an A for effort to make round pegs fit in square holes. For that, even I have to give them props. There is a big line between incompetence and creative thinking.

But then the Harper filing appears to toss the alleged hoarding attorney he found from an ad on Graigslist, under the bus as well.

The allegation is that not only was Greenspoon Marder incompetent but Hoffman as well.

DEFENDANT MICHAEL HARPER’S SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Reliance on Advice of Counsel

For a second, separate and distinct defense, Defendant Michael Harper relied upon the advice of numerous attorneys (“Attorneys”), to be later named and including Defendant Marc Hoffman, in providing advice that the conduct of Defendant Michael Harper and the Defendant Entities was in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Defendant Michael Harper is not an attorney, and never held himself out to be an attorney. Any business action at issue in this case taken by Defendant Michael Harper or through the Defendant Entities was taken after the advice of the attorneys working with Defendant Michael Harper and the Defendant Entities, including Defendant Marc Hoffman. The attorneys Defendant Michael Harper worked with were believed by Defendant Michael Harper to be competent and knowledgeable about the applicable laws and regulations concerning the actions of Defendant Michael Harper and the Defendant Entities. Additionally, the Attorneys represented at all times during the applicable dates in this proceeding that the cases filed on behalf of clients were valid cases and that they were providing a valuable service to the clients. According to the allegations in the Plaintiffs’ Complaint, if proven true, the advice from the Attorneys, including Defendant Marc Hoffman, was erroneous in stating that the conduct by Defendant Michael Harper and the Defendant Entities was in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Defendant Michael Harper acted in accordance with the advice of the Attorneys.

But it does not stop there. Apparently even the attorneys who worked with/for Harper were incompetent as well, he claims.

DEFENDANT MICHAEL HARPER’S THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Reliance on Advice from Professionals

For a third, separate and distinct defense, Defendant Michael Harper relied upon the advice of professionals through his work at the Defendant Entities. The Attorneys that Defendant Michael Harper worked with through his position at the Defendant Entities were professionals. Although Defendant Michael Harper did not “retain” the attorneys as counsel to represent him, he did respect their advice and implicit meaning in their participation in the alleged business enterprise, as identified in the Plaintiffs’ Complaint. Defendant Michael Harper relied on the advice of the Attorneys in good faith and believed that the Attorneys, due to their knowledge as professionals, would be acting in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Defendant Michael Harper sought the advice from the Attorneys, although informally, with the purpose to ensure the operations of the Defendant Entities and his own actions were in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Defendant Michael Harper provided to the Attorneys a full and accurate account of relevant facts. The Attorneys were also aware of the relevant facts due to their involvement in the operations of the Plaintiffs’ alleged enterprise. Defendant Michael Harper acted in compliance with the advice provided to him by the Attorneys.

Maybe if there is a takeaway from all of this it is possible Harper is incompetent in finding good people to work with. How else can you explain his assertion that many of the professionals he surrounded himself with didn’t have a clue what they were doing?


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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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