What to Ask Your Prospective Attorney

NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE/AMAZON!

So you have decided to challenge your servicer as to whether they really have the right to collect anything from you and whether they have been turning over payments to the “proper party” (the real lender) and whether they have any information regarding the securitization of your loan, and an accounting for ALL money exchanged or paid in connection with your loan.

You’ve decided to challenge the pretender lender on whether they really own your loan and whether they “represent” any other entity that might be the REAL LENDER. You want to know who the real lender is and whether they have any enforceable right to collect money, enforce the note or obligation, or enforce the mortgage or deed of trust.

You have decided to hire an attorney, but like all fields, there are attorneys that are good at one thing and not so much on others. You want an attorney who is a crusader, who is not looking for a single silver bullet like “produce the note.” You want someone who believes in you and believes in your case. You want someone you can trust and whom you like. Big retainers mean big bills generally speaking unless they charge you a project fee that is all inclusive.

Yes this is a lot of work to do, but hiring an attorney who is only halfheartedly representing you with the notion that you owe the money and anything he does for you is enough, even if it is a minor delay. Keep looking. Don’t expect the first one you meet to be THE ONE.

And remember it is YOUR case, they didn’t screw you (the securitization players did that) and they don’t owe you anything. They spent a lot of time getting educated and trained to practice law and they are entitled to substantial fees compared with other jobs.

Here are the the things you should want to know and to get CLEAR answers that are verifiable from any attorney you interview:

  1. What type of practice do they have?
  2. Have they litigated property matters before? How many times? With what results?
  3. Have they litigated mortgage issues including foreclosures? How many times? with what results?
  4. Do they have any specialization, certification or degrees in real property law, securities, contract law, Uniform Commercial Code, appraisals, real estate closings? What are those and when did they get it?
  5. Do they have a working knowledge and experience litigating in Federal Court (bankruptcy preferred), State Court, jury trials, non-jury trials. How many trials have they been lead counsel? What is their record of success?
  6. How would they rate themselves in proficiency in motion practice, discovery, trial, cross examination?
  7. Can you get references from other clients?
  8. Will they litigate to win or just delay the proceedings?
  9. What are their personal views regarding the foreclosure crisis? Is their attitude one of outrage as to what has been done to homeowners, the national and world economy or complacency with a wink at the Judge that this is a real obligation that the “borrower” owes but wants to get out of because of some procedural sleight of hand?
  10. What do they think of the financial bailout to Wall Street?
  11. Do they agree that the homeowners were targeted victims of a vast scheme to drain homeowners and investors of as much wealth as possible or do they think borrowers were the greedy ones trying to buy houses they couldn’t afford?
  12. What do they propose to do for you? Do they have experts with whom they maintain relationships? who are those experts? can you speak with them?
  13. How much do they charge and how do they charge (by the hour, monthly, contingency fee, costs, expenses).
  14. What is the total amount they expect that you will be charged for this litigation? (Ignorance would indicate they haven’t been doing this much or with much success).
  15. Will you be provided with copies of all correspondence and notes to file?
  16. Will you have telephone access tot he attorney? How often? For how long?
  17. Will this attorney be representing you and working your file or an associate? If an associate, you want to ask the same questions regarding the above.

Listen carefully to the answers. Take notes. Go home and think it over even if it only for an hour. Don’t let “emergency” conditions dictate settling for an attorney who doesn’t understand securitized residential mortgages. It will only get worse that way.

4 Responses

  1. Hey RF, we are sorry to hear your sad story
    and this is why produce the note is tricky
    and must be used with care as we have
    learned what you do not know, is what is
    going to hurt you….the fact it is not req.
    in Fl to record the assignments. We have
    found filing a criminal complaint against the
    judge and the pretend lender and
    foreclosure mills to be very effective tool
    given to us by our beloved comrade in this
    war Christine of Ohio. Please email us for
    a copy of the criminal complaint and get it
    going along with your appeal of his ruling…
    We feel your pain but there are many way
    you can fight back still so do not give up.
    God bless your comrades in this war, tim,
    410-257-5283

  2. L.Fitzgerald

    YOU will be vindicated!
    Every decision that unjustly demonstrates the incestuous relationship between wall-street & the [gov] courts creates a another toxic pissed-off patriot , animosity , outrage , distain further inflames us to action. Use this!!!

  3. Dear Neil and Dedicated Blog Readers,

    We find Neil’s lawyer safari advice to be top notch advise, again he is right regarding settling for a lawyer because your circumstances dictate such. We have had four failed lawyers to date and are on our 5th lawyer, for who we pray may see our case to the end. It has been a very frustrating experience for us and for many consumes who have unwittingly been engaged in legal battle to save their homes.

    We have not blogged for a while so let us bring all up to date with our views on the current legal crisis and bad deals for consumers lucky enough to locate knowledgeable and willing legal counsel.

    Particularly alarming and disturbing are the egregious up front fees being asked of consumers for legal services that are half heatedly rendered…..And yes, Neil is correct, these guys/lawyers, have spend a lot of money on education and time in school learning their practice but CHARGING OBNOXIOUS SUMS JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, AND CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, IS NOTHING SHORT OF ROBBERY……….

    On our most recent lawyer safari, we even had a law firm tell us we would need a seventy five thousand dollar retainer that would have to be deposited in an escrow account in advance….now mind you all please, our case is one of fraudulent foreclosure with there being NO DEFAULT EXISTED….a little different than produce the note stuff but so say the least we were not impressed with what consumers are being offered by these greedy opportunist…. We shudder to think what a poor consumer would be charged if they were in fact in default of the loan obligation, hmmmm, must be a whole lots more than the seventy five thousand we were offered.

    The one objectionable problem we see with the “Produce the Note” cases being litigated here in MD is that the cases are structured to simply and, as I can best glean and have been told by our own lawyer who practices in this area too, but the lawyer just mounts the defense in the foreclosure case and IF……CONSUMERS THIS IS A BIG IF HERE TOO, THE LAWYER DOES NOT LITIGATE THE CONSUMERS CLAIMS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWABLE, i.e., sham collection of a debt not legally enforceable, and use of fraud to exact illegal conversion of the consumers property, then the consumer is left to just lay and wait until the lender re-files the foreclosure action……THIS REALLY SUCKS FOR THE CONSUMERS AS THEY ARE MERELY DELAYING THEIR CASE AND CLAIMS AND AS SUCH, WE DO NOT ENDORSE THIS SORT OF DEFENSE AND DO NOT FEEL THIS IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE POOR CONSUMER VICTIM….We feel this is happening because most of these lawyers, as our last lawyer did the same, exact monthly payments from the consumer while the litigation is pending therefore if the lawyer is able to stall litigation, it is to his benefit……Tragically we are talking with many consumers we have met over the past several years through this blog and have discovered that the consumers who evoked “The Produce the Note” argument, were still in limbo a year later…..THIS IS SIMPLY TRAGIC AND UNACCEPTABLE TO US AND OUR WAY OF THINKING……..

    We believe the lawyers who are merely mounting DEFENSES TO THE FORECLOSURE ACTION ONLY, are in the long run damaging the consumer victims as they do not understand they have what are known as affirmative action legal claims and have sustained injuries in the fraudulent foreclosure actions launched against their properties. It would have been nice had we found while doing our research on like cases here in MD that the law firms were mounting affirmative lawsuit actions and filing these claims however, they shockingly are not……..WHY ARE THEY NOT FILING THESE AFFIRMATIVE CASES AGAINST THE OBVIOUS INJURIES, FDCPA? We suspect it is for a more sinister reason and that these lawyers want to keep their clients laying in wait for the next filing of the foreclosure action….so they can run in and again mount a defense to the case and again end up with the case at an impasse and standstill or, this is what we see happening. We know that these claims could be expeditiously litigated and that the lawyers are litigating the consumer claims and injuries….WHY, WHY ARE THEY NOT LITIGATING THE CONSUMER CLAIMS, WHY ARE THE LAYING IN WAIT FOR ANOTHER FORECLOSURE ACTION TO BE FILED AGAINST THEIR CLIENT WHO IS PAYING THE LAWYER A MONTHLY INSTALLMENT OF ANYWHERE FROM $ 500.00 TO AS MUCH AS A $ 1000.00 PER MONTH…..IS THIS NOT JUST ANOTHER FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCAM IN SHEEP WOOL OR WHAT PLEASE?

    A more recent spin on foreclosure rescue scams is the law firm fronting as a consumer lender defense firm but who is really just running a more sophisticated version of a foreclosure rescue scam. What we see happening in this scenario is the consumer feels he deserves and wants his house outright and wants to have a quiet title action brought to clear legal title to his home; the hustle and spin come next, then the consumer is told an action to quiet the title will need to be filed in their state courts and that generally, quiet title actions do not include lawyer fees and as so being, should the lawyer win…..free and clear title to the property and they are successful in quieting the consumers title, then the consumer would have to pay….the lawyer a percentage of the appraised value of the property and, of course, BINGO, THE LAWYER TAKES A SECURED INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY…….Now if this does not sound like a foreclosure rescue scam, I do not know what else does!!!!! Consumers BE AWARE THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO LITIGATE YOUR CASE AND CLAIMS you just have to dig and read a whole lot to understand what they are but this type of scam should be avoided at all cost as who is to say the lawyer will not attempt to take the property too please? He will if you default on the agreed amount! What we find smacking deception is that in this real property conversion scam, the consumer is lead to believe they have no other viable monetary claims on which relief could and SHOULD BE SOUGHT OUT AND LITIGATED!!!!!!!! WE FIND THIS TO BE SIMPLE BULLSHIT AND YOU SHOULD RUN THE HELL AWAY FROM THAT DAM LAWYER BUT FAST AS HE HAS HIS INTEREST AT HAND ONLY AND MAY CAUSE YOU YOUR HOME!

    The problems we see with the above fee arrangement is that there is no end to the litigation and that the lender can re-file the action again unless he pleads his case right and demands the debt be extinguished to serve as a deterrent to filing sham pleadings and lawsuits, this is not happening in the cases we have seen being filed here in MD!!!! WHY ARE THESE LAWYERS NOT DEMANDING SANCTIONS BE IMPOSED AGAINST THE FORECLOSURE MILLS AND THEIR LAW LICENSES AS THIS IS ALSO NOT HAPPENING.

    We find it painfully concerning to us there are SO MANY WAYS TO QUIET THE TITLE TO A PROPERTY WHICH WOULD NOT REQUIRE A QUIET TITLE ACTION AND THAT WOULD IN FACT HAVE $$$$ PUNITIVE AND MONETARY DAMAGE AWARDS FOR THESE VIOLATIONS OF LAW!!!!!! WE CAN SEE NO LOGIC IN THIS MISGUIDED LEGAL ADVISE OR THEORY AND MUST CALL IT OUT FOR WHAT AND AS IT IS, A SOPHISTICATED PROPERTY CONVERSION SCAM!!!!!!! WE WANT TO TALK TO ANY CONSUMER IF YOU HAVE ENTERED INTO SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT WITH A LAW FIRM OR LAWYER, timcotten@mris.com or 410-257-5283.

    We find an under use of these lawyers to seek out sanctions and fines against the servicers and foreclosure mills. Under FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692, creditors validation and verification requirements; it is a fact that most lenders transfer their foreclosures to an affiliate to foreclose on the consumers home after a default has occurred therefore NOT………exempting the foreclosing servicer from the provisions of the FDCPA. In fact, because the new/foreclosing servicer has accepted the account in default and for the purpose of colleting on the instrument by foreclosing the home, the servicer is subject to the provisions of the FDCPA and is a debt collector as is the foreclosing lawyer/mills/trustee. What this means consumer readers is the foreclosing servicer and foreclosure mill lawyers/trustees MUST…….UPON DEMAND OF THE CONSUMER, VERIFY AND VALIDATE THE PURPORTED DEBT!!!!!!! We know they cannot complete these requirements and as so have 1) attempted to collect a debt for which they lack any legal standing 2) failure and ability to validate and verify the purported debt and the creditors refusal or default thereto, extinguishes and voids the purported debt in toto.

    In most cases, the pretender lender cannot validate and verify the debt instrument because they do not have it nor do they possess anything other than hearsay knowledge regarding the verification of payments and is why Cease and Desist Letters demanding validation and verification of the purported debt are important consumer foreclosure arsenal instruments and should be used at every juncture of communication with the pretender lender/debt collectors.

    In our case, there was never any default on which to foreclose we were merely sporting the little bull’s-eye known as equity on our backs and so the greedy, scummy banks and their trifling and equally scummy employee who was paid obscene sums of money to manipulate our mortgage account into a contrived default and fraudulent foreclosure. Moreover, for the first three years of this nightmare and only of here of late otherwise, we were more than able to refinance out of the loan had the pretender lender and the foreclosure mill law firm provided the validation and verification necessary to allow us to obtain another loan……..They did not and we sustained injuries from their failure to perform said.

    Fact is, we also tendered more than timely payments another fact that invalidates the instrument and extinguishes it in toto also! Because our lender failed to respond to our constructive 1692 notices…..and are, therefore in default on our many offers. We not only have suffered a loss of opportunity from being forcibly held in a loan that was destine to be foreclosed regardless of no default. As a result of the foregoing, the obligation is extinguished, see Walker v. Houston; 215 Cal 742; 12 P2d 953 at 953, 87 A.L.R. 937.

    This is just one instance on how other laws may be utilized under the Common Law Fraud Theories and is why….we find these foreclosure rescue scams so repugnant. They also do not seek due compensation for the sham collection action and fraudulent credit reports thereof against the consumers credit so there is lots of injury to go around and we are simply horrified these Foreclosure Rescue and Property Conversion Scams are flourishing. We are deeply saddened by the fact the consumers can so easily be lead by guile…..We do not understand why the consumer does not see that the prize here is the lawyer takes the secured interest in your property doing away with……ANY PLAUSIBLE REASON TO LITIGATE MONETARY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGE CLAIMS. We feel the later is the obvious caveat for the lawyer to NOT PURSUE MONETARY DAMAGE CLAIMS THAT WOULD MORE THAN OFFSET ANY NEED TO TAKE THE INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY…..ANOTHER REASON WE ARE SO SKEPTICAL OF THIS OBVIOUS PROPERTY CONVERSION, FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCAM!!!

    The unfettered bilking of consumers by predatory law firms is astounding. Consumers being bilked for Audits that are worthless in most instances as TILA more than not, does not apply…..And with so many already known and established, market factors such as inflated appraisals and appraiser and lender collusion in manufacturing a pre determined value, lenders making loans based on the value of the property and not the borrowers ability to repay with just a simple check of the closing numbers, all that is needed here…..In our opinions the rest is BS and the consumer is paying the high cost of the BS as law firms are bilking them for these services when almost all……..consumers were given loans on which they could never have paid back and on which they did not qualify for so, what is the purpose of the audit again please other than just keeping that old revenue machine a plugging away at the consumers expense? Sounds like a duck and walks like a duck it is a ….DAM DUCK, OKAY?

    Fact is, most servicers issue fraudulent default notices and lack the legal capacity to issue and declare a default or even accelerate the contract! And most courts lack the necessary subject matter jurisdiction to even preside over the case!!!!!!

    If you read your deed of trust or mortgage “Contract”, one will discover that the contract is really a bilateral contract between the two principals party to the contract and with that being said, and because mortgages and deeds of trust are standardized, UNIFORM CONTRACTS, Almost all of these contracts designate the “Lender” as the body able and charged with the duties of issuing all notices, declaring defaults and accelerating the contract……THE FREAKING SERVICER JUST COLLECTS PAYMENTS…..READ YOUR CONTRACT FOLKS IT IS THERE IN BLACK AND WHITE ON A STANDARDIZED FANNIE MAE FORM SO THIS ARGUMENT IS FOR US ALL AND IS FOR THE TAKING……NO REAL HEAVY LEGAL LIFTING HERE WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH UNIFORM AND STANDARDIZED FORMS/CONTRACTS…..Another reason I FEEL THE CONSUMER IS BEING RAPED AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF. WHY, BECAUSE ONCE YOU DO ONE, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME, THAT IS WHY THEY ARE STANDARDIZED, NEWS FLASH….THUS THE LAWYER IS NOT HAVING TO EXPEND LARGE SUMS OF TIME WEEDING THROUGH DISTINCTIVE OR UNIQUE CONTRACTS, HELLO HERE PLEASE?

    NOW, WE ARE NOT GENIUSES BY ANY STRETCH, BUT how can the servicer, affix his name or the trustees name and have this represent and constitute a legitimate Notice to Foreclose please? If the lender is Lehman, as in our case, and the servicer is Lehman’s bastard stepchild Aurora Loans and, the note and mortgage designate Lehman as the lender, then it goes without saying NO ONE OTHER THAN LEHMAN was able to issue the acceleration notice, the notice of default or any other notice! It further is understood, NO ASSIGNMENTS TO SAID SUCH FACTS WERE EVER RECORDED IN LAND RECORDS EITHER.

    We all know the supposed securitized trust were never funded; the true chain of title assignments the credit rating firms S & P, Fitch and Moodys, never verified the assignment chains nor did assignments ever occur within the sec timeline window of 90 days….And yes, just as Neil has preached and said repeatedly from DAY ONE, the instruments are simply unenforceable and were a void at the infancy and inception of the loans….God bless you Neil for brining this out to the American Public however no one UNDERSTANDS WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS……IT MEANS THAT IF YOU ENTERED INTO A LOAN SECURED BY YOUR HOME DURING 2002 TO PRESENT, YOU HAVE A LEGITIMATE FORECLOSURE DEFENSE.

    What we are beefing about here is really the fact that there are so many ways to defend against the banks that giving a lawyer a secured interest in your home and property in order to represent you and because, supposedly, there are no LEGAL FEE AWARDS UNDER AND FOR, A QUIET TITLE ACTION, WE SUGGEST STRONGLY ANY CONSUMER CONSIDERING THIS EXPLORE OTHER STRATEGIES AND OPTIONS BEFORE HOPPING IN BED WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE PATENTLY WITHOUT A DOUBT, PREDATORS CARRYING LAW DEGREES IN THEIR HANDS…….WE ARE REPULSED AT WHAT WE ARE SEEING IN THE LEGAL COMMUNITIES AND HOPE AG’s STEP UP THE JOB AND TAKE SOME OF THESE BAD ACTORS OUT OF THE GAME!

    Produce the note is a valid defense and is a big part of our own case however there are so many ways on which a consumer can proceed that they must explore all of their options. Other great laws are the Article 3 UCC laws, adopted in most all states UCC laws.

    We are saddened at the lack of legal creativity in applying the many great laws that abound injured consumers. For instance, under UCC 1-208, Option to Accelerate at Will. This is a great tool for consumers too as this means any principal to the contract, the borrower or the lender, may accelerate the contract at will if they have a belief performance of the contract is or will be impaired……I say consumers might have a worry or two as to why this statute is being so underused…….Why have consumers been advised to wait for the lender to foreclose when all they really had to do was accelerate the contract/instrument for the lenders frauds in the inducement into the contract…..So much is stacked against the poor consumer…..and we are concerned why the under use of some laws.

    In our case we had a tender of payment issue that in effect extinguishes the obligation when valid tender if offered and made in good faith as was the case in our instance. Because The Uniform Commercial Code also reflects these principals of common law that, once a debtor makes a good faith offer of performance, and whether it be via rescission and demand for a pay off balance reflecting the effects of the rescission or payments that were refused and were not accepted, the obligation is extinguished, pursuant to UCC 3-603. The Offer of Performance is the necessary instrument to cause the discharge of the alleged debt in this matter, pursuant to FDCPA and, UCC 3-603 and if it applies to the consumers account, should and must be plead in answer as such.

    Under the tender laws, if the payment is made and refused, clearly what has happened repeatedly to us in our case in furtherance of the willful intent on manufacturing and creating an illegal default, the debt is extinguished and discharged, please see UCC 3 – 603 and UCC 2-511.

    We have become more intimately acquainted with the UCC Securitized Instrument Laws here of late. We must share with the regular bloggers the comical replies loan servicers are giving consumers in reply to UCC rescission notices that include statements such as “TILA is not an option”, well guess what dumb ass servicer we did not evoke TILA, or “Your Loan is A Purchase Money Loan for Which Rescission Does Not Apply”, wrong again stinky servicer breath, ANY CONTRACT CAN BE VOIDED OR RESCINDED WHEN MADE UPON ACTS OF FRAUD……..ALL THOSE POOR CONSUMERS WHO WERE DUPED INTO BUYING NEW HOMES AT ABSORBENT PRICES, FUNDING THE BUILDERS COST but these heathens replies to UCC Rescission are nothing short of funny!!!!

    See what has happened is that the governments conspiracy of keeping us entrenched in these bad loans thru the use of TILA/RESPA and all of those badly thought out lender solution laws to consumer lender abuse problems, but, fact is, in many ways TILA strips away valuable rights the consumer has such as limiting the time in which rescission can be exercised……Well hell, under UCC and common law fraud, rescission can be exercised at anytime or when the fraud is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered……It is comical to see that lenders are desperately clutching to their tried and true TILA statutes and attempting to mislead consumers to believe and think this was/is their only option and, THAT THEY HAVE NO OPTIONS UNDER A NEW CONSTRUCTION LOAN BUT JUST A BUNCH OF CRAP is what it really is and is what OUR CONGRESS INTENDED FOR WE CONSUMERS……..ANOTHER NIGHTMARE LITIGATING ANOTHER USELESS LAW………Fact is, our government wanted us to remain in bad loans and that is why they have made up laws that are not enforced by the FTC and for who has enforcement powers but still refuses to use them.

    It is no wonder FTC is not using their enforcement powers as the regulator has appointed the former Vice President of GMAC as their fearless leader……WELL CONSUMERS IS THIS EVER GOING TO GET ANY BETTER, WE THINK NOT UNTIL OUR WHOLE GOVERNMENT IS IMPEACHED AND REPLACED!!!! The same way we ALWAYS KEEP THE REGULATORY DOORS OPEN FOR THE GOLDEN SACKS BOYS…..ARE THOSE SACKS OF BALLS BY THE WAY AND IS THAT HOW THEY CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THE GOLDEN SACKS BOYS????

    Our courts are still hopelessly broken with Judges who own stock in cases to which they are presiding over and law firms working out behind closed door deals against their own clients interest so nothing has changed on this home front either……

    We hope more consumers will use the “Produce the Note” theory under their FDCPA rights and that they demand validation and verification of the debt purported owed and due by the lender….Consumers who have not defaulted yet, may exercise rights under rescission and acceleration under UCC laws and while we are not lawyers nor are we practicing law, we are simply sharing with the consumer public what we have learned in our now almost seven years of struggle fighting these vermin. God bless and happy thanksgiving to us all!!!!! Pray for Impeachment of Our Government and Congress and that Neil keeps putting out the word as he has been right all along as we see clearly now!!! tim and kat, timcotten@mris.com or 410-257-5283

  4. ” Happy Thanksgiving …

    Give thanks to all the Blessings you have……he said,

    and don’t complaint of the things you don’t have..”

    “I’ll be eating turkey with my ” kids ” tomorrow “…he said .

    With a smile on his face ..this Orlando 9th Judicial Circuit

    Court .. Judge…denied my motion to vacate judgment , and

    allowed my house to be sold on Jan. 2010.

    We a.. hardworking senior citizens married couple ..became a

    ” potential homelessness couple.”… .the day before

    Thanksgiving..

    He was very kind to a Wall Street Bankster ..his gift… my only

    home ….

    One of my main arguments in this hearing..

    was the Plaintiff’s lack of recorded Assignments .and chain of

    Title .. [ The Bankster is not my original lender..].

    The smiling Judge made this comment ..that

    ” Florida law does not require Assignments to be recorded.”..

    …to prove the Plaintiff’s ownership…!!.

    We were in Shock …

    Thank you Judge for your good wishes ?

    I just hope you don’t choke on your turkey…

    we lost our appetite ….we lost our home.. thanks to you….

    ( but we’ll be back ..and fight back in a different court )

    RF …

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