Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams
I hope you all had a good week. For this newsletter, I'd like to discuss foreclosure rescue scams and the steps you can take to protect yourself from these scams. I believe that sometimes the best way to make a point is through a story, so I'd like to tell you a story about a client I went to court for this week.
This week I went to court to fight for a client who is a U.S. combat veteran who served our country in Iraq. He is 90 percent service-connected disabled due to anxiety and insomnia connected to his combat duty in Iraq. He is married with children in the home.
My client was defrauded by a foreclosure rescue scam, who wrote him a letter saying they would represent him as legal counsel. He paid this company $3,600 and come to find out, this company has no attorneys even working with them. They filed no documents in the court case on his behalf and the bank foreclosed on his home.
After agreeing to represent this client, we filed a motion to set aside the final judgment of foreclosure and to set aside the foreclosure sale, asking the Court to give him a fair shot to save his home with an actual lawyer instead of a fake one.
I have learned that with a fair judge, the courtroom can be a great leveler in our society. In this case, the Court served that purpose and set aside the final judgment and sale, finding that my combat veteran client should be given a fair shot to save his home.
It was the greatest reminder that even though many days it feels like we are fighting against the wind, we are fighting for a great purpose. It was a great victory for a man who put his own life on the line so we can be safe here at home.
So what can you do to protect yourself from foreclosure rescue scams?
The answer is pretty simple. If you find yourself facing a default on your home mortgage, contact competent foreclosure defense counsel. You can do an attorney search on the Florida Bar website, where you can make sure that the attorney is properly listed as a member in good standing of the Florida Bar.
I would not trust any company where you cannot confirm that competent legal counsel will be representing you. Here's the main reason: when a homeowner gets foreclosed on in this state and the homeowner wants to fight to save the home, the process basically operates on a dual track. One track is the loss mitigation track where you work with the lender on the loan modification process and the other track is the litigation track. While you are working to get approval for a loan modification, there will almost certainly be court hearings scheduled and you need an advocate to be present for you. The bank will have its attorney in court to advocate for the bank and you need a voice as well.
If you believe you have been the victim of a foreclosure rescue scam and you are still in the foreclosure process, it would be advisable to have a competent foreclosure defense attorney review the court docket promptly to determine if the home may still be saved from forced sale.
I hope this information will be helpful to you or anyone you know who may be going through this stressful process.
Have a great Sunday!
Ryan Torrens, Consumer Litigation Attorney
Disclaimer: The information provided in this email does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available in this email is for general informational purposes only.
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