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Homeowners (7)

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Public Records available on the Internet

 


THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution

 
http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/funddocs/billeng.htm



Superior Court of the State Of Delaware
RE:  Victoria Gibbs, et al. v. Fairbanks Capital Corporation 
C.A. No. 04C-06-258-JRJ

http://courts.delaware.gov/opinions/(nw1dfd55shqovp45zdzux2jk)/download.aspx?ID=98460
 
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE IN AND FOR KENT COUNTY
RE: CORINTHIAN T. CUFFEE and KIMBERLY L. SMITH v. FAIRBANKS CAPITAL CORP., and EQUICREDIT CORPORATION OF AMERICA
C.A. No.  04C-06-034 WLW

http://courts.delaware.gov/opinions/(pdxf0p55nzeanurnctsrwz55)/download.aspx?ID=62330

Harmon Law Offices

Forged foreclosure filings by David J. Stern anger Pasco judge EXPOSED- National Media Picks Up on the Story on David J. Stern NASDAQ, DJSP Enterprises Major Shareholders David J. Stern (Law office Foreclosure Mill) and Kerry S. Propper Subject of Department of Justice Investigation And SBA Law Suit.
Securities Class Action Filed Against David J. Stern and DJSP Enterprises, Inc. FL Foreclosure Defense Attorney Matt Weidner's coverage of David J. Stern Looks pretty bad, doesn't it? Good thing DJSP is all the way down in FL. Only one small problem with that.... DJSP Enterprises, Inc. - Mortgage Processing Services The Company's principal customer is the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. whose clients include all of the top 10 and 17 of the top 20 mortgage servicers in the United States, many of which have been customers for more than 10 years. DJSP Enterprises, Inc. http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyOfficers?symbol=DJSPU.O&WTmodLOC=C4-Officers-5 Mr. Mark P. Harmon serves as a Director of DJSP Enterprises, Inc. Mark P. Harmon is an attorney employed by and is the president of Harmon Law Offices, P.C., which specializes in providing legal services to mortgage servicers. Mr. Harmon has been with that firm and its predecessor, The Law Offices of Mark P. Harmon, for 26 years. Mr. Harmon also has served as the president of Northeast Abstract Company, Inc., a company that performs real estate title searches, since its founding in 2002, and of Commonwealth Auction Associates, Inc, a company that performs real estate auctions, since its founding in 1995. STAN COOPER and NEERAJ METHI, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, v. DJSP ENTERPRISES, INC; DAVID J. STERN; and KUMAR GURSAHANEY, Defendants. Federal Securities Fraud Suit - Complaint - http://motherjones.com/files/David_J_Stern_Securities_Fraud_suit.pdf DJSP Enterprises, Inc under investor investigation DJSP Enterprises Inc and David J. Stern Under Investor ... Investigation of DJSP Enterprises aka David J. Stern law office ... DJSP ENTERPRISES, INC. PAGE 64 Governance. The business and affairs of DAL will be governed by a board of managers that will consist of five managers. Stern, Raj Gupta, Mark Harmon, Matthew Kayton and Jerry Hutter will comprise the initial board of managers. Managers may only be removed for certain reasons enumerated in the LLC Agreement and will hold office until removal or until their resignation or death. Vacancies will be filled by such manager?s alternative manager as set forth in the LLC Agreement. For so long as the Stern Contributors beneficially own DAL membership interests comprising of at least five percent of the outstanding DAL membership interests, the Stern Contributors shall have the right to appoint one manager to the board of managers. For so long as FlatWorld beneficially owns DAL membership interests comprising of at least five percent of the outstanding DAL membership interests, FlatWorld shall have the right to appoint one manager to the board of managers.

 

 

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Harmon Law Offices is the firm representing Fairbanks/SPS in the Dillon matter. While their letterhead and all their advertising places them as being out of Newton Mass., they appear to have a local office in Manchester, NH. Harmon is known as a "foreclosure mill" and one visit to www.NHpublicnotices.com will tell you why. Aside from representing Fairbanks/SPS, public notices have listed them as representing GMAC Mortgage, CitiFinancial, Wells Fargo Bank, ABN Amro and MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC (aka MERS) just to name a few. At some point in the  matter of Dillon v Fairbanks et al, each of these lawyers from Harmon Law Offices were involved both in and out of court.
Thomas Santolucito, Esq.
Victor Manougian, Esq.
Veronica Vieros, Esq.
David Rosen, Esq.
Jeff Clark, Esq.

 

Harmon Law Offices PC doesn't seem to have a website but I did trip over these two interesting sites. From the annals of things that make you go "WHAAAAAAAAAAT THE HECK IS THIS!!!!"

www.hlopayoff.com
www.hloreinstatement.com HLO likes to argue that they are not debt collectors. If that is true, why do they include the debt collection
miranda on these two sites?


Some interesting research on Fairbanks/SPS' local counsel

Page 9 in the United States Foreclosure Network lists their proud memebership in this "fine organization"


American Legal and Financial Network Listing

Did you know that Harmon Law Offices has been the named Defendant in at least 2 class action
suits?


Pettway v. Harmon
settlement website

Edward Allen, et al Plaintiffs v. Harmon Law Offices, P.C. , Defendant. Case No. 02-11438-WGY Consolidated with Case No. 02-12294 GAO


Charges against them included (but were not limited to):

Harmon Law collected or attempted to collect attorneys' fees for legal work related to the foreclosure process by sending a reinstatement letter or payoff letter which followed Harmon Law's standard fee and cost estimation process, or included foreclosure costs in excess of the amounts expended by Harmon Law.

Harmon Law collected attorneys' fees for legal work related the foreclosure process by sending a reinstatement letter or payoff letter following Harmon Law's standard fee and cost estimation process; whose foreclosures were not completed by Harmon Law in accordance with state law because the loan was reinstated or paid off prior to the time of the sale.

Have you had a negative experience with Harmon Law Offices?
Do you live in New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Massachusetts?
We'd like to hear from you, please
contact this website .

Who's In Your Wallet?

The Surprising Truth About Who You're REALLY Doing Business With

 

Check out the OCC's (Office of the Comptroller of Currency) website and you'll see I'm not kidding!

 

When it comes to mortgage servicing, it can get even more confusing! You sit down at the closing table and sign papers with one company name on them, shortly thereafter, you're getting mail from a different company looking for your monthly mortgage payments. Here?s what we think happened with my loan.

I refinanced my house with Superior Banks F.S.B

Superior Banks F.S.B sold the loan to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital

Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital sold/transferred/assigned the servicing rights to Fairbanks Capital Corp.

Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital sold/assigned/transferred my actual loan to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors

Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors bundled my loan with other loans into a Real Estate Mortgage Conduit (REMIC) and made LaSalle Bank N.A. the trustee of said REMIC

 

The foreclosure notices came in the names of Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors and LaSalle Bank N.A.

Only Fairbanks Capital showed up in Court during the foreclosure proceedings

 

PMI takes control of Fairbanks Capital during the time period in which I am trying to get the foreclosure stopped

 

Fairbanks Capital then changes their name to Select Portfolio Servicing during the time period my foreclosure case was in Court

 

 

I took out a loan with Superior Bank and before I knew it I was no longer dealing with them. In fact, I wasn?t dealing with the lender of my loan at all, I was dealing with a company THEY CHOSE to force me into doing business with! The unfortunate part is that a good many homeowners don?t realize that they?re not actually doing business with their lender at all. Like me, they are dealing with a mortgage servicer. 


The kicker is, many of these mortgage servicing companies are not only employed by, but are owned by huge international banking institutions. These huge & often well respected companies like ABN Amro, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston have consistently failed to take any accountability in the way the mortgage servicers they hire and own do business. This is unacceptable when you consider that in most cases, like my own, I am actually a customer of theirs by contract and not of the servicer?s at all. I would not have to deal with Fairbanks/Select if Merrill Lynch hadn?t hired them to service my loan. Yet Merill Lynch has not done done one single thing to assist me over the years!

 

I know who?s in my wallet! Do you know who?s in yours? If not, you need to find out exactly who you are doing business with. It could mean the difference between owning your home and ending up on the street.

Marie McDonnell

 "The Mortgage Counselor"

 

Bear in mind that this is simply my own experience with one mortgage "counselor". Your mileage may vary. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Always wear safety goggles. Do not operate heavy machinery until you know how this will affect you.

 

I have been asked on several occasions of my opinion of Ms. Marie McDonnell, formerly known as "The Mortgage Counselor", now operating under the business name "Truth In Lending Audit & Recovery Services, LLC"  of Orleans, Ma. Each time I do my best to answer honestly about my experience with her. It is this experience, and subsequent conversations with CPA/CFEs that has convinced me that hiring a Certified Public Accountant with Certified Fraud Examiner status or a Forensic Accountant is a much more legally and financially sound investment than procuring the services of a so-called "mortgage counselor". It seems that Mortgage Servicing Fraud victims are finding Ms. McDonnell due to media exposure that she has managed to garner through articles such as December of 2006's Business Week article covering Mortgage Servicing Fraud. It's now time to lay out what my experience was with her and a Court Order out of Minnesota District Court (Rimstad v Wells Fargo et al, US MN 07-2582 (DWF/AJB)) in which she was involved solidifies my opinion that sharing my experience is the right thing to do.

Prior to securing legal counsel, I hired Ms. McDonnell in Feb/March of 2003 after being served with an Intent to Foreclose by Thomas Santolucito of Harmon Law Offices claiming to represent Merrill Lynch. After driving three hours to personally deliver my "box o'evidence" and paying $1500.00 upfront for her services I left with the assurance that I would have a complete analysis of my loan within roughly three weeks of the day that I paid her. During our initial meeting, Ms. McDonnell discussed with me the possibility of negotiating some kind of deal with Fairbanks on my behalf. At the time, I explained to her that I was not inclined to make a decision on the spot and told her I wanted to wait to see what the analysis of my loan would show. Truth be told, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of her representing me in any legal capacity as she is not an attorney and ultimately I hired a licensed attorney to handle my case.

Several weeks went by during which time I checked in to see how things were going with my analysis when I learned that the motherboard on her main PC had died and needed to be replaced. Ms. McDonnell informed me that this would cause a slight delay in the completion of my analysis but should not seriously affect the overall time frame by more than a week or two. Cutting a long story short, after many telephone calls to The Mortgage Counselor's office and many excuses I finally became frustrated with Ms. McDonnell and in September of 2003 again drove the three hours to her office to pick up whatever work had been performed on my loan analysis.

Upon arriving at her office I again had to wait for her to "finish" my analysis at which time I was given a neatly arranged three ring binder of information - the vast majority of which I had provided to Ms. McDonnell. In fact, the only contribution that she had made to the two-inch thick binder, addressed not to me but to the original attorney representing me, was a three-page spreadsheet analysis of my loan and an eight-page chronology documenting the order of events upon which she focused during the analysis of my loan. Other than the time line and the spreadsheet there was no additional information. Nothing was included to "translate" the spreadsheet information into "English" for anyone other than an individual with training in bookkeeping to understand.

In 2004, shortly before pre-trial hearings were scheduled in my matter, my attorney at that time felt it necessary to return to Ms. McDonnell as a result of the aforementioned lack of "translation" and request that she furnish such a translation before heading into court. At that time, the possibility of Ms. McDonnell testifying was explored but, due to the cost of her testimony and the fact that a boyfriend's need for dental work conflicted with my court hearing, it was decided that the spreadsheet translation would be enough to present to the court if necessary. As a result of having to "revisit" my analysis, Ms. McDonnell felt justified in charging yet another $975.00 for her time - for an element of my analysis that should have been included in the first place. In the sole interest of saving my home from an illegal foreclosure I agreed to Ms. McDonnell's terms. Fortunately, the analysis was not required during trial and my attorney was able to obtain a permanent injunction against Fairbanks/SPS on my behalf without relying on the audit.

June 5, 2004 I received an e-mail from Ms. McDonnell informing me that she had "seized a chance" to explore the willingness of Harmon Law Offices Head of Litigation, David Rosen, to negotiate rather than litigate my claims. This action was taken by Ms. McDonnell without my knowledge, authorization or consent or that of my attorney and never would have been agreed to as I had more than competent legal counsel in place to handle any "negotiations". Ms. McDonnell's unauthorized, unprofessional and inexcusable overstepping of bounds in our professional relationship could have severely compromised my case to the point of irrecoverability with that single conversation.

Upon learning of this conversation, I telephoned Ms. McDonnell and, in no uncertain terms, pointedly asked her where she obtained the authority to have such a conversation on my behalf. Instead of answering my question she became rather irrational, repeatedly attempting to defuse the situation by intimating that I had done something wrong and, when faced with a direct question that she could not argue away from, ultimately accused me of threatening her. Immediately after that, she ended the telephone call by hanging up on me and within an hour chose to remove herself from my case in writing before she could be fired. I had hoped that it would be the last that I heard from her. At the time that this conversation took place, Attorney Rosen had not yet appeared to represent Fairbanks Capital Corp. n/k/a Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. in my case. That would change, however, in 2005 when Attorney Rosen began appearing pro hac vice with Attorney Veronica Vivieros of Harmon Law Offices.

Late 2004 early 2005 I began talking to Joe Bergantino's producer at CBS 4 in Boston about Mortgage Servicing Fraud. The story developed until mid July when I learned that Mr. Bergantino had interviewed Ms. McDonnell as part of the Mortgage Servicing Fraud story. Not trusting Ms. McDonnell to handle the interview professionally, I sent her a Cease and Desist letter ccing both Mr. Bergantino's staff and my attorney. By that time I simply did not trust Ms. McDonnell and could not risk her discussing any portion of my case with anyone. The C&D letter did absolutely no good though because not only do I have evidence that she never bothered to stop discussing my case or using it as marketing and promotional material to further her own business and career, but, , it has recently come to my attention that Ms. McDonnell insists on fabricating stories regarding my character, the analysis I hired her to perform, my case and most importantly her involvement in said case to this day. To that end, if you are in possession of documents pertaining to me, my case or my then attorney Roy Tilsley which were sent to you by Marie McDonnell, please contact me by sending email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Overall, my experience in dealing with Ms. McDonnell was definitely less than pleasant. Once I began to learn more about Mortgage Servicing Fraud and my surroundings I learned to double and triple check myself. When I looked at Ms. McDonnell's educational resume, it became clear that she held no degree in any form of accounting. In fact, the vast majority of her educational background appears to be self-taught or at the very least self-directed. To the best of my knowledge, she is neither a member of nor regulated by the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy and when I called the Town of Orleans to inquire about her business registration there was some question as to whether she was even registered to do business in the town when I hired her in 2003.

Regardless of whether she has the knowledge to decipher the cryptic Key Loan Transaction spreadsheets and associated information, her actions and business ethics while working for me ultimately made it impossible to trust her. Any professional achievements aside, her educational background does not seem to easily lend itself to a level of credibility necessary to represent someone in a court of law. For these reasons I have come to the opinion that it is a much better choice to hire a CPA/CFE or CFA to analyze a Mortgage Servicing Fraud case whenever possible.

Alaphabet Soup For MSF Victims

CPA ?Certified Public Accountant

While a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is always an accountant, not all accountants are CPAs. To become a CPA, an accountant must take and pass a series of rigorous tests administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A number of states also require CPAs to pass state exams as well. Accordingly, there are a number of accountants who never pass the CPA exam and though they can perform a variety of accountancy chores, they are not allowed to perform certain tasks that only a CPA can do. CPAs offer basic income tax preparation and advice for a range of clients including individuals, small businesses and corporations. CPAs can also be found performing basic business record keeping, auditing and consulting work.

 

CFE ?Certified Fraud Examiner

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a person who has undergone schooling to become an expert in the detection, prevention, investigation, and deterrence of fraud. Although becoming a CFE is not necessary in order to gain employment in the fraud examination field, gaining the credential helps boost a person?s likelihood of becoming employed in the field and increases his or her earning potential.

 

CFA ?Certified Forensic Accountant

A forensic accounting professional typically has a bachelors or masters degree in accounting supplemented by additional courses in forensic accounting. Certified Forensic accountants can work in both civil and criminal court cases. In a civil case, a forensic accounting professional may be asked to calculate economic damages that occurred as the result of a breach of contract or provide insight into a case based on a claim of professional negligence. In a criminal case, a forensic accountant may be asked to present evidence of insurance fraud, identity theft, money laundering, embezzlement, price fixing, stock market manipulation, or other related offenses.

 

What does any of this have to do with Mortgage Servicing Fraud?

Once upon a time, what sometimes feels like a lifetime ago & other time feels like just yesterday, I had no idea why Fairbanks Capital Corp. (n/k/a Select Portfolio Servicing), was claiming that my loan was in default. I had all my cancelled checks, I had all my monthly mortgage statements and still not only could I not understand why they insisted I was in default, I could not explain to anyone else why I was not. Had I known then what I know now, I would have immediately sought out a CPA with CFE status. Why? Because it?s this unique combination of qualifications that could have easily answered the question.

 

There are many varied opinions out there on the topic of hiring an expert, some agree it?s the best way to go, others do not. What I can offer is based on my own personal experience as a Certified Mortgage Servicing Fraud Victim (certified both by the FTC & with respect to the Hillsborough County Superior Court?s decision in my foreclosure case) and the initial hiring of someone who only feigned that they were such an expert, but in reality was not (that issue is addressed here). What I can tell you is this, at some point, if you are going to fight the fight; you are going to need a qualified expert to explain what happened to your loan to the Court. My take is that you can either pay for a report once, or you can pay for a report twice but at the end of the day, you are not only going to need the report, you are going to need someone that is recognized by the Court as an Expert Witness.

 

 

An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, profession, publication or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion[1]. That being said, not all expert witnesses are created equal and ultimately, the Court and not the party in question will determine their classification as an Expert Witness. So, why hire an expensive CPA/CFE or CFA when there are others out there who claim they can provide you with the same service? Because in the end it may very well all come down the credibility of the witness in question.

 

Where do mortgage auditors/analysts fit in the equation?

Now we are in the thick of it, aren?t we? This question seems to keep popping up when it comes to Mortgage Servicing Fraud. Simply put, it?s an auditor?s job to review documentation, ask questions and report back as to whether or not the rules are being followed. While there is ?special? education available to train one to become an auditor, more often than not, people holding this title are not required to be specially licensed or trained in accounting. While it is not this author?s intention to disparage the profession, it is the author?s intention to make sure that people understand what they are getting when they hire an auditor.

 

As many Constant Readers know, long before the Dillon Case became an actual court case, I hired an auditor in connection with my loan (that story in it?s entirety can be found here). While it was less expensive than hiring an actual CPA, CPA/CFE or CFA (costing roughly $2,500.00), ultimately the only thing the report actually accomplished was to help me understand exactly what Fairbanks/SPS had done with his payments and to my loan and based on that understanding to obtain legal counsel. Was it money well spent? Unfortunately the jury is still out on that question (again, you?d have to see the whole story to understand).

 

I have never made any secret about my experience and subsequent opinions on the matter. If I had it to do over again, I would have hired a CPA/CFE or CFA to begin with.

What does this all mean for a victim of Mortgage Servicing Fraud?

 

Those of us who have been unfortunate enough to have to fight unlawful/illegitimate foreclosure attempts stemming from Mortgage Servicing Fraud know all too well all the issues that come along with the ever-looming fear of becoming homeless. It makes sense to surround ourselves with the best people and tools when trying to take on these issues. Simply put, you wouldn?t hire someone who claims to be a doctor to perform lifesaving surgery on yourself or a loved one; you would hire an actual doctor. Why should this decision be any different?

 

For more detailed information you can visit the following sites:

 

Anti-Fraud and Corporate Responsibility Center

http://antifraud.aicpa.org/

 

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

http://www.aicpa.org/

Scams & Scavengers

How To Avoid Being Taken After You've Already Been Victimized By Mortgage Servicing Fraud 

snake-oil salesman (American, informal) Someone who tries to sell you something of no value.

 

As if being victimized by Fairbanks Capital/Select Portfolio Servicing and their continuous efforts to steal my home using their widely known Mortgage Servicing Fraud tactics wasn?t enough, since the foreclosure became public knowledge in 2002 (it was published in the newspaper by Harmon Law Offices as is the legally prescribed manner for the non-judicial foreclosure process here in NH) more snake-oil salesmen that I care to count have approached me with offers of ?help?.

Some were brave/foolish/downright stupid enough to actually come knocking on my front door, others sent letters and some even figured out how to call my house. There was one particularly enterprising young attorney who, when I wasn?t home, knocked on my neighbor?s door and told her it was an ABSOLUTE EMERGECNY that I call him immediately. My neighbor just about knocked herself out to find me and you can imagine her embarrassment when she learned this attorney who wanted nothing more than to buy my house and rent it back to me had taken her in with his scam.

Here are a few things I have figured out over the past several years?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

The ?STOP FORCLOSURE by renting your own house? scam isn?t designed to help you!

If you have to buy tickets to a seminar to learn it, skip it!

Don?t hire a loss-mitigator, hire an attorney!

If you don?t have to pay for the services of someone claiming that they are going to help you deal with your servicer, with a very few exceptions noted, they are not working for you!

Buying a book/tape/DVD or attending a seminar of any kind WILL NOT DO A SINGLE THING TO FIX OR IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT!
You have to be willing to roll your sleves up and TAKE ACTION!

Check everyone?s qualifications/licenses before you sign on the dotted line or pay them a dime!

Homeowners

?It?s not a secret? It?s just information you don?t have yet? -author unknown

It?s scary, confusing and downright frustrating when all of a sudden out of nowhere (or so it seems) you are served with an Intent To Foreclose. If you are like the hundreds of thousands of victims of companies like Fairbanks Capital/Select Portfolio, Litton or EMC (just to name a few) you don?t have to legitimately be in default for them to institute foreclosure, they just need to claim you are in default. While by no means am I insinuating that servicers orchestrate every foreclosure on their books, we know that many, mine included, have been.

Back in 2002 when my ordeal formally began, there was no handbook telling me how to handle the situation, I literally made it up as I went, hoping I was making the right choices. It is with this in mind that I offer some suggestions on how others might learn from what I went through. I want to stress that what you read here is not intended to replace the advice of qualified legal counsel but merely a suggestion of steps you can take to help protect yourself.

 

I?m current on my payments, but I just received a Notice of Intent To Foreclose in the mail. What do I do?

 

There are a few steps you can take at this early stage, which will help you immensely down the road.

 

1.) Find out what the foreclosure laws are in your state, this will do a number of things, not the least of which is let you know a basic timeline for how things (in theory) are going to proceed.

2.) Gather and organize all your monthly mortgage statements, proofs of payment (cancelled checks, money orders, etc.) and any and all written communication to you from the servicer of your loan.

3.) Find the papers you were given when you closed your loan. Make sure that among those papers are a copy of your Note and Mortgage.

4.) Do a little research on your property down at the registry, see what?s filed there and make copies of everything. Once you have the papers, it should show you who the lender is.

5.) Write a one or two page narrative about your situation. Leaving the emotion out of it, explain what is going on.

6.) Start a timeline of your situation, include everything that has happened and update it frequently.

 

I?ve got all my papers in order, now what?

Here?s where the real choices begin and where the time line of how foreclosure works in your state come into play. The more organized you are, the easier it?s going to be for you to make other?s understand your situation.

 

 

1.) Assuming you haven?t done so already, write and send a qualified written request pursuant to RESPA to both the servicer and lender of your loan. Send these letters U.S.P.S. Certified, Return Receipt Requested.

2.) You can file a complaint with your state?s Banking Department.

3.) You can file a complaint with your state?s Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.

4.) Find, vet and hire a competent lawyer. Ultimately I learned that I needed to be looking for a Consumer Protection Attorney. One of the more useful tools I have found for that was the Martindale-Hubble website.

 

What do you mean, ?vet? a lawyer?

It?s such a relief when you finally hear those four little words, ?I?ll take your case?. But do you really know who you?ve hired? Use Google, the Bar Association and whatever means are available to you to learn all you can about the lawyer before you hire them. Make sure you feel comfortable working with the person before you hire them because although they work for you, you still have to be able to get along.

Also, BEFORE you give a lawyer ANY information about your case, request that they do a conflict check on the players involved to make sure they can represent you.

 

I can?t find a lawyer, what do I do?

In some cases victims end up going pro se and since I fortunately didn?t have to go that route, there isn?t too much I can offer on the subject. Many Courts have websites on which they offer assistance to pro se litigants. I do know that, even someone who is pro se is held by the Court to the same standard as if he or she were an actual lawyer. Be careful, be cautions and learn the Court Rules!

 

I obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), what do I do with it?

Make sure you have a certified copy, that is to say a copy that has the Court?s stamp on it and IMMEDIATELY go down and file it at the Registry! It may cost you a few bucks but the peace of mind that gives is definitely worth it! Make sure you always have a copy on hand near your front door, just in case. Filing the TRO at the Registry should prevent anyone from making additions or changes to the documents on file.

 

Are there any other suggestions you can make?

 

1.) Yes! Make sure that whether you have a lawyer or not, that when you file in Court to stop the foreclosure, that both the lender and servicer are listed as Defendants. If you are in a state where you are dealing with a Judicial Foreclosure, make sure that both the lender and servicer are Plaintiffs in the matter and if not file whatever papers necessary to make it so!

2.) Remember to take care of yourself and your significant other. This may be a long fight (remember mine started in 2002 and I?m still here in 2008) and you?ll need your strength, sense of humor & each other to get through it all.

3.) Don?t let this become your world. It?s easier said than done, believe me. You need to find a way to get away from the stress and frustration.

 

 


 

Don't forget to check out our other resources for homeowners:

Scams & Scavengers

Alphabet Soup

Marie McDonnell

Who's In Your Wallet

PMI

Harmon Law Offices

Eckert Seamans