A friend of mine interviewed a woman last year, a potential foreclosure client, who had inherited a house about three months before the bank – one of the biggies – foreclosed.
She had already poured through the Internet reading and watching everything pertaining to foreclosure and the late recession. She was convinced, probably rightfully so, that her relative had been the victim of predatory lending, dove headlong into the whole sub-prime, securitized loan morass.
She was trying to decide between hiring a ‘regular’ Connecticut foreclosure attorney and ‘fight it the normal way’ or getting an out-of-state ‘sub-prime, securitized loan expert attorney’ with affiliated lawyers in Connecticut and a proven track record. (More on that proven track record in the next post.)
She explained that the lawyer and his firm – out of Florida, unsurprisingly – were out to attack the securitization process, the note, basically the banking injustices of the last twenty something years. It was if the firm was infused with the quiet outrage of Matt Damon’s narration in Inside Job while having the knowledge and legal ‘chops’ to do something about it.
Great. Go get ’em. Win one for all the little guys , yada, yada, yada. Then my friend showed me the Florida firm’s contract, all seven single spaced pages. Aside the sizable up front retainer and 12 month ‘personal guarantee’ payments – a full $500 more per month than the mortgage – and the expenses, and a contingency fee of 25% of damages or modification and ten other problems I had with the thing one item stood out head and shoulders above the rest:
Failure to pay the firm will lead to an ‘Attorney’s Lien’ being placed on the property. . . and any other property the client owns. The client in foreclosure. The client who has just gone through years of great financial stress.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking regular Connecticut ‘lets-work-within-the system-and-achieve-something- that- helps-everyone’ fees, we’re talking ‘let’s-take-on-the-system-and-make-the-banks-pay-while-I-get-rich’ fees. In this case $27,500 the first year, plus expenses.
What are the odds of even successful foreclosure defense/offense resulting in just another lien when it’s all over?
The title of the song is “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”