I posted previously about the foreclosure defense lawsuits. They are also the "lost note" defense lawsuits that are hotly publicized. Well, the lawyers who prey on these hopeful homeowners are are getting sued now by the California Attorney General, Jerry Brown.
It's no secret that I represent many private money lenders. That means that I see the full gamut of honest, but down-on-their-luck borrowers to the outright fraudsters and scammers that have defrauded my clients of their hard-earned retirement money and pension funds.
Many of the foreclosure defense lawsuits in California were filed by an attorney named Mitchell W. Roth's firm. These were cookie-cutter lawsuits filed that did nothing more than buy the homeowners a couple more months in the house. Once these lawsuits were filed, lenders dealt with them easily as these lawsuits were flimsy and often meritless to begin with or were not even pursued by the Plaintiff's counsel.
What the California AG say?
"Noe and Roth ripped off homeowners desperate for help by charging unconscionable fees for phony lawsuits," Brown said. "Instead of aggressively pursuing the lawsuits, Noe and Roth strung them along so they could continue to rake in fees."
Beginning in mid-2008, Noe promised homeowners facing foreclosure or default he could help them lower or eliminate their mortgage debt.
He convinced more than 2,000 homeowners to sign "joint venture" agreements with his company, United First, and hire Roth to file suits claiming that the borrower's loan was invalid because the mortgages had been sold so many times on Wall Street that the lender could not demonstrate who owned it. Similar suits in other states have never resulted in the elimination of the borrower's mortgage debt.
After filing the lawsuits, Roth did virtually nothing to advance the cases. He often failed to make required court filings, respond to legal motions, comply with court deadlines, or appear at court hearings. Instead, Roth's firm simply tried to extend the lawsuits as long as possible in order to collect additional monthly fees.
So, don't take my word for it, look at the actions themselves. These unscrupulous plaintiff's lawyers gave the struggling homeowners false hope and pocketed the fees that could have been applied to the loan to work out a loan modification or forbearance.