Predatory Lawyers and Servicers: No better than Predatory Lenders

We are besieged here with “offers of service” who wish to leverage off the success of this site to get business for themselves. We support the notion that people should develop a business model in helping people and which makes money for them. Beware of people if they demand large sums of money up front. A simple TILA Audit should not cost more than $400-$500 but is really insufficient particularly if you are not sure what to do with the findings. The more complete audit, review and evaluation that goes beyond the loan transaction itself is necessary, with a Qualified Written Request, attorney demand letter and some suggestions on how to proceed if your lender does or does not respond to the statutory demands should not cost more than $1500- $2500.

Here is a comment worthy of note which I found trolling the comments on my blog:

Remember if you are dealing with an unscrupulous licensed professional (attorney, mortgage broker, etc.) you can file a grievance with the licensing agency who will investigate, prosecute if necessary, and possibly require restitution.


[Editor’s Note: If con men looked like crooks they wouldn’t get anywhere. They always ingratiate themselves and seem like good people interested in helping. They intentionally do not appear to be much different from legitimate lawyers, auditors, debt counseling etc. Livinglies does not vouch for the accuracy of any statement contained in the article below]

A Warning to others having Mortgage problems:  Re: A family of predatory lenders…

Our family was having some problems with our first mortgage we got behind and were facing a potential foreclosure.

We got a lot of the typical rescue mailers telling us that we had plenty of equity and not to worry.  We knew this and we only needed 20 to 30 thousand dollars to bring the loan current.  Plus we knew we could sell another property that would pay off part of our loan at any time. That seemed simple enough,.

Now let the nightmare begin…

We were approached by a broker / lender named Jim Marks out of Tampa Florida who said he could rescue us and the rates would be very low because we had so much equity in our waterfront home.  He said he could find us plenty of money.  We were very clear to him that we did not have the income to do any major loan an we only needed a small amount.

Fast forward… He befriended our family,  had lunch many time in our home and other places , went snorkeling and diving on our boat with his family, he also wanted to see all the waterfront and residential properties my family had invested in, he also brought out investors to see what we had, later we found out that the investors were his own relatives (Barry Silber the lawyer lender).

They wanted to know if any friends had good deals on waterfront properties, I fell for all of it like a sucker and provide what they needed,  Marks assisted by Silber structured a deal putting everything into the [deal?] that we already owned, they created a corporation for our family,  as a JV partner Marks took 50% and gave us 50%, but took complete control of everything, he sold land we had, used the money for other purchases, took out loans without approval from our family.

As we were about to sell three of our waterfront lots and an investment home, he said don’t do it put it in the JV and we would do much better later with him in control.  So we trusted him with everything including the check book.
We thought he was our friend and would managed and protect us but boy were we wrong.

We had no idea that it was all a set up from the very beginning to get control of everything we had.  It is clear now that we had a big target on our backs called equity.  We were steered by Mr Marks right into what I now believe was nothing more than family of Predatory Lenders.

They got me and my family by saying that they could rescue us but all we got was high interest rates etc etc. They eventually forced us into a foreclosure, but always stood by with additional high cost loans in order to get them to stop their foreclosures. We were trapped.

We were forced to meet after hours at their offices to sign more rushed document that we did not really understand. (e.s.) Jim Marks would say don’t worry I got your back and would never let you sign anything that would hurt you or your family. Papers were shuffled around for hours by the lawyer/lender Barry Silber and their title company that they all owned and controlled.

We did not want to sign anything but we were up against the wall and the mortgages that they gave us were all due again. They took a years worth of payments up front that night and paid themselves many fees.  Now we had a new giant mortgage on our home that was due in one year it also had a rider that would take away all our rights to the JV that controlled all our Families properties if we didn’t pay them back within that one year.

We told Marks that we can’t pay this loan back and he said don’t worry we will sell something in the JV to pay this off or refinance you again.  The lawyer involved was Mr Mark’s relative, Barry Silber was also part of the company that gave us one or more of the mortgages.  Before that year was up his cousin Barry Silber started foreclosure on everything and than said they could not lend any more money.  What is astounding is that our Mortgage on our home was now over $ 1 million dollars.  How did this happen in just 3 years?

How did we allow some one to take all our families properties? First we trusted Jim Marks as a friend and busness partner.  But he was clearly working his way into our family and eventually found out every aspect of our assets and liabilities.  Second:  We were not very smart with our finaces. Third: We don’t have much of an education and trusted him because he said he could handle everything properly.

Now we see that they were all very smart and we were conned over and over again into trusting a  family of hard money lenders who had one motivation and that was to milk us of all our equity by what ever means possible.  We all feel very bad because we let this happen to our families holdings.  We believe that state and federal laws have been broken and would like others to give their advise or their own story if they have one.  So Don’t ever fall for someone trying to rescue you with a hand of friendship.
I can tell all of you that this web site has helped in a great way.  Keep it going

14 Responses

  1. Hi All, sorry we have been away for awhile however we have hired a lawyer, owe him now about 15k and still are suffering but finally and at least, we have an affirmative TILA complaint and should obtain summary judgment soon.

    We are so disgusted over what we have encountered to date. We receive many contacts from consumers and it is outrageous at present time as their are so many TILA audit companies out here and people professing to be auditors. Why we are so upset is that most of the audits we have seen, (yes, we ask consumers to send us a copy of the audit), are focusing on RESPA sections 8 and 9 and NOT section 6 $$$$$$$$$$$. Why this is a problem to us and why we are so disgusted is that sections 8 and 9 or RESPA only gives you a YEAR, to bring a cause of action and most consumers are well past that year by the time they are in need of and looking for an audit.

    These bad audit services do little if anything to identify the TILA “Material Disclosure” violations requisite to allow the injured consumer up to the three years to rescind the loan. Nor do these audits specify the exact TILA statute that has been violated, an essential if the audit is to serve a meaningful purpose, TILA rescission and litigation of the consumers claims.

    I have not seen an audit yet that found violations within the fed box to which, these violations are usually the easiest to detect by simply matching them against the Note, Deed, Good Faith Estimate, HUD-1 and Notice of Right to Cancel as usually something is not consistent with the Final Truth in Lending Fed Box. I have never seen a HUD-1 refinance that contains rebates or credits brought forward for unearned per diems, property taxes, escrows, and insurances that must all be prorated and brought forward and may not be just scooped up by the servicer.

    Frankly, it appears to be standard mortgage industry practice to retain these credits! Shocking but VERY, VERY TRUE! AND, guess what, the failure to apply these rebates causes ALL TILA MATERIAL DISCLOSURES TO BE INCORRECT, ALL! Why, because the balance on which disclosures are computed is incorrect and inflated therefore causing a material TILA violation subject to the consumers 3 year extended right to rescind!

    The other terrifying trend we are seeing in the way of lawyers are pretend TILA expert lawyers! This is very damming and bad for the consumer because the consumer in need of a skilled and qualified lawyer to litigate their TILA causes, has no way of knowing if the lawyer is truly qualified in this area of consumer practice.

    I am shocked at the amount of lawsuits that fail to charge FDCPA claims against the servicer and foreclosure lawyer for violations of charging prohibited default related fees because most foreclosure mills and servicers who acquired the account in default, (almost always a collection servicer is assigned to foreclose) but, they are subject to these very substantive consumer fair debt and collection practices acts provisions that work in tandem with their TILA claims.
    Things the consumer can do to weed out a good lawyer would be to ask the would be expert lawyer for a list of TILA cases he has successfully litigated as these are his calling card and the cases are public knowledge and information available to the public and consumer. The consumer should then carefully read the lawsuits and attempt to understand what took place in the litigation or, if the case is in federal courts, use pacer court search,, and look the cases up but, clues are there as to how good the lawyer really is!

    A sampling of a would be lawyers cases can also cue the consumer as to the lawyers depth of knowledge about TILA.

    Look for quality of the lawyers work and this look should extend to lawsuits filed by the lawyer noting if there are spelling errors and sloppy layout of the suit then you may not be dealing with a truly professional lawyer.

    The other most important thing is make sure your would be lawyer has the necessary consumer law library which should include not only Neil Garfield’s materials but, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the lawyer must have the NCLC TILA series!

    Do not wait to ask these questions of the would be lawyer! We were shocked to learn our lawyer was attempting to file TILA complaints on our behalf and did not own NCLC TILA series. We were clued to this recent discovery when we could not figure out why our lawyer was not GETTING IT RIGHT and were shocked to discover he did not possess these valuable books! Why these books are so valuable is they coach the lawyer on how to handle lender defenses, antics and strategies. These books also provide current case law essential to wining your case and they provide laws that overrule other adopted laws. We were so frustrated when we had to scan our NCLC TILA to share with our lawyer because he did not understand and purported to debate our statutes had been tolled but, most amazingly, he did not understand that the filing of our lawsuits stopped the statute clocks therefore equitably tolling the time! TILA specifically provides tolling is to occur during case pendancy as is the case in our circumstances.

    It is very important that the consumer research and learns these laws too as we are astounded and shocked at the amounts of wrong legal advise we have personally received over the past 7 years which was contrary to the TILA law! Had we not researched the laws we would not have known better! This was made easier for us because we purchased our own law books! The books are very affordable and again, if you do not have the bucks for a lawyer or, as in our case, we could not locate a competent TILA lawyer, at least purchase the books to help you win your TILA case!

    Why we suggest buying the law books is they are time consuming to read but are chalked full of essential legal advise regarding your TILA causes. We recommend every consumer who cannot afford a lawyer, purchase in addition to Neil’s stuff, the National Consumer Law Centers Consumer Bankruptcy, Credit, Truth in Lending and Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices books. The books come with CD’s that have sample complaints and commentary regarding the complaints but very good stuff for the consumer to have in their foreclosure arsenal!

    These books will help reduce the Mistakes pro se litigants make, we know we have made these mistakes when pro so, but attempting to plagiarize complaints they find on the web and so forth is extremely dangerous to the pro se consumer and can cost them their claims and even possible sanctions.

    We also purchased our federal and state law books on state and federal rules, fed local rules too, judicial proceedings and rules, commercial law, financial institutions, real property, banking and anything we thought we would need to proceed in a court of law pro se if we could not locate a lawyer.

    While you can go to the courthouse law library, it is simply time consuming and your restricted to the courts hours of operation or, 9-4 and maybe Saturdays in your local federal court and you cannot copy a page easily etc., but we recommend pro se consumers equip themselves with the law books and be prepared to spend around six or seven hundred dollars or an hour and half of a lawyers hourly rate.

    We continue to be astounded at how many lawyers and judges do not know these laws or opt to ignore them but very serious stuff.

    Take care all and keep up the right fight!, 410-257-5283

  2. I am in pre-foreclosure on our home and a couple rentals. I would like to request that our lender “produce the note’ in CA which requires filing a lawsuit and is a little above my expertise. Does anyone know of an affordable paralegal or lawyer who can help me with this in the LA & San Bernardino area? Any reasonable referals would be greatly apprecaited.

    I just spoke with an attorney from this site who quoted me $4K to file bankruptcy and additional $1500-2000 for a loan audit. PLUS a contigency. His contigency on reducing a $750K loan to $0 was $250K. Has anyone ever heard of this??? Just curious. Thanks!

  3. I had a tila auditor done. tila recission notice was sent to lender they failed to comply to tila law. we then drove from Florida to Va. Chesapeake Virginia was my old residence then we moved to florida last year.
    Chesapeake was my primary residence. I did a refy back in 10/ 2006 then the lender transferred to a servicer we were making payments until I had tila audit done and plus i did some researching on my own as well house is over appraised. I know now about what is going on now then before. Since the lender failed to company we did a pro se litigation due to tila law. We were able to stop several foreclosure sale. then they auction on March 25 the sale of trustee gave it back to the bank. Now its bankowned.
    we have a case number chesapeake circuit court. However, going pro-se litigation is not easy. I took leave of absence from school here in florida my husband is retired disabled veteran and missed out on gettting work. while we were in Chesapeake Virginia companies called my husband but we were taking care of this all by ourselfs. we also n ot knowlng law terms messed up. the petition is filed due to fila since 12/29, but we are looking for a competent laywer in chesapeake viginia. We fought a good fight several times we have stoppped the foreclosure sale until March 25, 2009 it is now banked owned. their is extensive damages not just tila I need a lawyer to take this case on contingency and claim not just tila but damages and the bank took my home.
    need tila lawyer and for damages, I strongly believed the lender does not owe the note. We check county clerk records we spoke to a rep and the lender was not recorded on the records neither is the trustee.

  4. Does anyone know if a loan can be rescinded when a lender did not follow procedure and foreclose a home?

    In addition to the foreclosure the lone origination was not legal and multiple violations have been found on document including no rescission end date on the 3 day to cancel notice.

    1. Borrower did not receive proper disclosure to the documents he signed.
    ….( The Notary public showed up at the borrower home to have loan docs signed)
    ….Loan broker (agent) was not present to go over in detail what the borrower was signing.
    ….Borrower was instructed sing on the x and initial here.
    ….By the Notary Public whom personally delivered documents including blank copies for borrower to keep.
    ….When borrower would ask questions regarding the Loan, the Notary Public would give a brief description of the document and instructed the buyer to call the broker at a later time.

    2. The Borrower Loan Application was taken over the phone.
    ….borrower information was not filed in a truthful and honest manner, instead the broker inserted a different amount as per stated income, 3 times the amount actually stated by borrower of his actual income made.
    ….borrower Truth In Lending Statement, as I understand the Financed loan amount can not be over or under $100.00 the total loan amount minus closing cost and broker fees, which by the way broker fee cost borrower 16k on a 500k refinance loan amount, with an interest rate of 10.25% a two year interest only and 28 year remaining payment at a variable rate and a final balloon payment of 350k.

    (On top of 20k plus borrower paid as a prepayment to his other lender, on another bad loan, a repeat of a bad loan was taken by the borrower in stressful times.)

    At the time interest rates where about 6-7%.

    3. The final and most obvious error the broker made was that by not disclosing the loan in person borrower documents never received a written disclosure of the final day to rescind, 3 day notice of rescission itself was left blank. Borrower received six blank copies one borrower requires for one borrower is 2 copies makes me believe that the lender never got a signed copy back and if they have one the document may have been falsified.

    My other concern above all the listed above is that the lender in California where the home is located did not follow foreclosure procedures, borrower was foreclosed late October and not told about the foreclosure until a real estate agent came to his home asking to be permitted to asses the home since he was instructed to place it on the market. Borrower then called the lender in complaint that he had an attorney and there was already a request pending for a modification. Borrower was given 10 days to move out. When stated in a written notice to the lender that he had tenant the lender extended 10 more days and in a phone call was told to move out or that borrower would get locked out. Forcing borrower to remove his roommates, when borrower called his attorney about the incidents that had accrued attorney did not return calls and finally pleading for his money to be returned the blame was placed on borrower for allegedly being at fault in not responding to the lender a matter that the attorney was to be resolving.

    What can this Borrower do to fight back?
    Also if an attorney here preferably if recommended by Neil as someone that gets it, would consider taking on a case such as this one please email me at:

    Note to any Attorney interested in this case Borrower has exhausted his life saving over 60k plus savings in 401k in attempting to save his home and resources are limited but if the law allows you may name the price in settlement with the lender. As with any case it is very important that the borrower in this case receive the best representation available. This home was the original home to his parent (May they rest in peace) and was granted to the borrower by the serving parent. Borrower opted to care for his surviving parent dealing with cancer, and under much stress refinanced the home too allow for a peaceful end….

    Thank you,

  5. Doris. try the blog, where it says find a lawyer. It is constantly being updated

  6. Need a lawyer in Virginia, Roanoke

  7. Hello Steve,
    I did not see anyone on your site in Orlando.

  8. Marie,

    I also have several foreclosure defense lawyers I can refer you to . One is on my site. All you have to do is click on my name or you can call me at 561-317-9978

  9. Mario,
    call me I can help you to find a lawyer
    786 274 0527

  10. It seems that the judges are on their side, but, how can they not be, they go to the same schools with them, play golf with them, eat with them and why wouldn’t they be on their side? Attack the lawyers, make them admit to fraud and then countrersuit in federal court. my opinion.

  11. Hello,
    Two months ago hired a lawyer in Florida to do a violation report on my sub prime loan. I never heard back from him. I have e mailed and called his office with no response.
    Would you know of a lawyer in Orlando FL, who could assist me with a foreclosure defense case?

  12. What can we do about the judges that believe that it all about equity, and in their eyes the “LENDER” has lost more?, they are also a part of the problem, in states like Virginia where USURY laws are almost non existent and real estate related transactions are exempt from civil litigation, we have an uphill battle.

  13. Freddie, JPMorgan in Dispute Over Bad WaMu Loans (Update4)

    By Jody Shenn

    Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Freddie Mac and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are in a dispute over bad mortgages sold by Washington Mutual Inc. that may strip JPMorgan of millions of dollars in fees.

    JPMorgan, which took over Washington Mutual’s assets after the thrift collapsed, told Freddie it won’t buy back mortgages sold by WaMu that failed to match promises made about their quality, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie said today in a regulatory filing.

    Freddie, the mortgage-finance company seeking $13.8 billion of capital from U.S. taxpayers, in turn told JPMorgan that it won’t permit the bank to keep the thrift’s mortgage servicing contracts “unless it assumes the Washington Mutual repurchase obligations,” according to the filing.

    Freddie, competitor Fannie Mae, insurers, banks, and bond investors have been seeking to enforce contracts that would shift more of the losses from a surge in U.S. foreclosures to the lenders that originally made the loans or to others that provided assurances about their creditworthiness.

    Under Freddie’s agreements with banks, the company can seize contracts to service, or manage, outstanding loans for several reasons, including a failure by the servicing bank to repurchase mortgages. Servicers collect mortgage payments and pass them on to other companies and bond investors for a fee that’s typically 0.25 percent a year.

    Servicing Fees

    WaMu, the fifth-largest mortgage servicer at the time of its collapse, reported its contracts to service $441 billion of loans for third parties were worth $6.2 billion on June 30, according to a July statement. Servicing for Freddie, Fannie and government agencies accounted for $252 billion of the loans.

    Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan, which acquired Seattle-based Wamu’s assets and branches in September as the savings and loan became the largest U.S. banking company to fail, declined to comment. JPMorgan is the third-largest servicer, according to newsletter National Mortgage News.

    Loan repurchases by sellers to Freddie almost tripled during the first nine months of this year to $1.2 billion and the company may lose more than $1.3 billion because of outstanding “servicing-related obligations” including for buybacks at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and IndyMac Bancorp., according to the filing. Lenders sometimes agree to cover Freddie’s losses instead of repurchasing loans, the filing said.

    More Disputes

    “Next year will bring more of these sorts of disputes to light as the stakes get larger and patterns of bad originations standards in 2006-2007 become clearer,” Jim Vogel, the head of agency debt research at FTN Financial Group in Memphis, Tennessee, wrote in an e-mail today.

    Ambac Financial Group Inc., the New York-based bond insurer, sued JPMorgan’s EMC Mortgage Corp. on Nov. 5 over representations made about loans backing mortgage securities. JPMorgan bought EMC Mortgage along with the collapsed Bear Stearns Cos. in March.

    Freddie, which today reported a record quarterly loss of $25.3 billion, and Washington-based Fannie own or guarantee more than 40 percent of the almost $11 billion of outstanding U.S. home loans. The government seized the firms in September amid growing losses and promised to inject $100 billion in capital into each, to protect buyers of their debt and mortgage bonds.

    Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection in September and IndyMac was taken over by bank regulators in July.

    Fannie’s “backlog of unfulfilled loan repurchase and reimbursement requests” has been burgeoning, in part because “many servicers have been slower to comply with our requests due to financial difficulties and liquidity constraints they are experiencing,” according to a Nov. 10 filing.

    As far as Fannie knew on Nov. 7, JPMorgan hadn’t “yet indicated” to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. whether it planned to permanently assume the WaMu’s servicing contracts, which were held at the company’s bank unit, the filing said.

    Freddie fell 6 cents to 67 cents in composite trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. JPMorgan fell $2.72, or 7.3 percent, to $34.47.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Jody Shenn in New York at
    Last Updated: November 14, 2008 16:34 EST

  14. This is an Outrage , I’m Mad. I had some thing of the similar happen to me. You said this all happend within 3 years right? Well look in all your docs & if they left out any of the “material” disclosures send them an extended rescission letter certified return receipt!

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