Evicted Family Reclaims Foreclosed, Sold and Resold Home

Added on 10/13/10

Self help Returns! I think they are right and my bet is that there will be a lot more cases like this one. Little reported because the people wanted to stay under the radar, this has occurred already in thousands of cases. This one is different because they are going public with it. I’m glad to see Michael Pines has switched his focus from short-sales and modifications to the real stuff. Now there is an attorney with some courage. he basically is calling the bluff. The banks get away with what they do because they do it. Michael has reversed that on them. Good show! But let’s not forget the fight isn’t over.

20 Responses

  1. http://m.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/14/california-state-bar-takes-drastic-action-t/

    California State Bar takes drastic action against Michael T. Pines
    By Stephanie Hoops
    Published Monday, March 14, 2011

    Lawyers for the State Bar of California are taking extraordinary measures to suspend the law license of controversial lawyer Michael T. Pines before filing formal charges.

    The bar’s chief trial counsel describes Pines as a “menace” in pleadings filed Friday that urge the State Bar Court to take prompt action to stop Pines while formal charges are prepared.

    “To remove a lawyer from active practice on an interim basis before formal charges are filed is a drastic remedy,” said Chief Trial Counsel James Tower. “That remedy is justified by the established misconduct of Michael T. Pines. He has shown complete disrespect for the law, the courts and especially the best interests of his clients. Removing Mr. Pines from active practice is an important step in our mission of public protection.”

    The State Bar Court is an independent body that has the power to recommend the California Supreme Court suspend or disbar attorneys found to have committed acts of professional misconduct or convicted of serious crimes. California is the only state in the nation with professional judges dedicated to ruling on attorney discipline cases, according to its website.

    Pines’ phone number is no longer active and he did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

    The 59-year-old lawyer finds himself on the verge of losing his law license after counseling families around Southern California to reclaim their foreclosed houses, actions that resulted in him being arrested and cited several times.

    Pines has compared himself to Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., while portraying his clients as Davids up against the Goliath Wall Street banks. But his methods have shocked lawyers, judges and law enforcement officers who have criticized his methods, saying they are unethical and illegal.

    In Ventura County, he advised Jim and Danielle Earl to break into their foreclosed home in Simi Valley. They broke in and reclaimed the house, only to later be evicted. But it caused prospective purchasers to back out of the sale and resulted in about $200,000 in losses for Thousand Oaks-based Conejo Capital Partners, investors who bought the home at auction after the Earls lost it.

    Considering the Earls matter last month, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Barbara Lane found Pines in contempt of court and sentenced him to pay $2,000 in fines and more than $34,000 in the legal fees and costs incurred by Conejo Capital.

    Conejo Capital’s attorney, Gordon Bosserman, said he does not feel sorry for Pines.

    “He was offensive to Judge Lane and engages in conduct that brings ridicule to the legal profession,” he said.

    Also in Ventura County, Pines has advised former major league baseball player Lenny Dykstra to disregard a bankruptcy judge’s instructions and return to a multimillion dollar Lake Sherwood mansion he lost to foreclosure. Dykstra ultimately fired Pines, referring to him as a “scum bag” in court records.

    At least three complaints, referred to in the pleadings, have been filed against Pines with the State Bar.

    The Ventura County District Attorney filed a complaint with the State Bar at the end of last year. A Camarillo doctor, Gerald Pearlman, said he also filed a complaint with the bar on Dec. 20.

    Pines represented Pearlman for about five months beginning in June.

    “He took fees and did not perform and started sending demeaning letters and e-mails that were beyond belief,” he said. “I think this guy is a danger to society.”

    Bar investigators interviewed Pines in January and raised concerns about his competence and illegal conduct.

    In their pleadings, lawyers for the State Bar wrote: “He is harming both his clients and the public by advising clients to take the law into their own hands, and he uses his law license as a weapon. By his behavior, actions and freely offered statements he is a clear — and ongoing — danger both to his clients and to the public.”

    Pines has been licensed with the State Bar of California since 1977. He has law offices in Carlsbad but lists his official address as Encinitas. He stopped practicing law 10 years ago and resumed taking clients only last year. He also worked in Utah as a real estate broker, investing in properties he has since defaulted on.

  2. MICHAEL T. PINES WAS DEFEATED YET AGAIN (no surprise here).

    Michael T. Pines just had ANOTHER of his foreclosed properties taken away from him days ago. Michael T. Pines lost his law firm office building. FORECLOSED. BANKRUPT. EVICTED. BYE-BYE NOW.

    That’s right, egomaniac Michael T. Pines keeps getting kicked off the soapbox and pedestal he’s put himself on by judges and COMPETENT lawyers (you might want to hire one of them, Pines).

    Michael T. Pines was EVICTED from his office building on 1.14.11.

    Good Riddance! Say the neighbors and tenants of Michael T. Pines, as well as: “Don’t let the door hit you on the rear on your way out of Encinitas” you blow hard.

    Pines, you’ve been taking money from the tenants and RENT SKIMMING for almost 2 YEARS! Hey Pines, you should know this as an attorney, and LISTEN UP STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA: THAT’S A VIOLATION OF California Civil Code 890 (a) and 890 (b) and 892 (a).

    Oh, and 1 more interesting fact. WHY isn’t Michael T. Pines breaking into his own foreclosed properties? There are 6 to choose from.

    Sounds like Michael T. Pines is a bit of a hypocrite (or wimp). He’s advising clients to break into THEIR foreclosed homes and squat, but Michael T. Pines is not willing to break into his OWN recently foreclosed office building which held his law practice and squat there — AND THE QUESTION IS: WHY?

    Oh, do tell, Pines.

  3. Michael T. Pines is DESPERATE to get his failing law practice (1 year old) on the map and get more business. He’s calling the MEDIA to come to the properties he’s breaking into. Perhaps you should talk to the Pines’ 4 clients who were evicted last month. He took their money, did not represent them and they are HOMELESS. Let me repeat: He’s bankrupt, he can’t save HIS OWN 7 foreclosed properties, he’s not breaking into his own foreclosed properties. But, he’s taking clients money and getting them arrested, telling them to go to court ON THEIR OWN AFTER HE TAKES THEIR MONEY, AND NOW THEY ARE HOMELESS – ANIMALS, KIDS AND ALL.
    Read his EMC lawsuit in UTAH. Michael T. Pines LOST HIS OWN HOME and is about to lose the 6 others, which he’s trying to protect in BK. He’s begging for media attention to get clients, but he ALWAYS FAILS THEM.

    Mr. Pines has ALL, yes ALL his properties in foreclosure and can’t save his own properties, so he can’t save yours. He is NOT a foreclosure relief expert. He’s a foreclosure expert. He’s left many victims in his wake from investors (some who are attorneys) in his ReVentures Real Estate investment group to legal clients, to seminar clients.

    Michael T. Pines filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on January 11, 2010, he miserably represent himself and it was converted to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Just GOOGLE “MICHAEL T. PINES” in QUOTES.

    Mr. Pines is insolvent, renting from his ex-wife Julie Phillips Pines and had his vehicle repossessed in December. He sued the bank, Zions, (case: Pines vs. Zions Bank) and as well as the repossesser (Pines vs. Fenders Recovery Service, because the took the vehicle he could not afford to pay – A Toyota, not a high end car. That case can be found online.

    Pines has NEVER won a case against a mortgage company. Pines sued EMC mortgage regarding his own foreclosure and lost. The judgments can be found online under UTAH COURTS.


    and here:


    And by the way, he’s NOT breaking into his OWN foreclosed properties.

    MICHAEL T. PINES has TWO Restraining Orders against him in San Diego County. You can find his Restraining orders on the San Diego County Sheriff’s website. Just type in “PINES” under *Restrained Last Name*.

    Michael T. Pines’ BUSINESS OFFICE is in Foreclosure, you can find it under San Diego’s grantor / grantee website.

    ALL of Pines’ foreclosed properties are ALL LISTED ONLINE IN UTAH, SAN DIEGO AND AK. Yeah, he’s Bankrupt and has MANY foreclosures….a credit nightmare. HE CAN’T HELP HIMSELF! HOW ON EARTH DO CLIENTS BELIEVE HE CAN HELP THEM?

    Pines’ foreclosed properties are as follows: (There are probably more, but this is what is available online)

    Address: 5 South 500 West Unit #1216, Salt Lake City UT 84101 – Parc at Gateway Condominium
    Notice of Default was Recorded on 8/26/09.
    Original Mortgage: 246K with National City Mortgage
    Notice of Default was recorded on 8/26/09
    Trustee is: ETITLE INSURANCE AGENCY, Phone: 801-263-3400 (please call to verify)

    Case # 09-81657
    1273 22nd Street, Ogden, UT
    Notice of Default was recorded on 9/1/09.
    Foreclosure sale scheduled for 1/15/10, This date was originally 12/29/09, but Mr. Pines asked for an extension Trustee is: ETITLE INSURANCE AGENCY, Phone: 801-263-3400 (please call to verify)

    Case # 09-81658
    Address: 1246 South Meadow Run, Saratoga Springs, UT
    Notice of Default was recorded.
    Foreclosure sale scheduled for 1/12/10, this date was originally 12/29/09, but Mr. Pines asked for an extension.
    Trustee is: ETITLE INSURANCE AGENCY, Phone: 801-263-3400 (please call to verify)

    Parcel #010610036
    Address: 2336 Madison Ave.
    Notice of Default was recorded on Oct. 7, 2009
    Trustee is Halliday and Watkins, Phone: 801-355-2886 (please call to verify)

    732 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024, which is his current office building!

    Case # 1171481
    Address: 21 Murphy Drive, Bella Vista, Arkansas
    Notice of Default was recorded in Sept., 2009
    Trustee is: Wilson and Associates, PLLC
    Phone: 501-219-9388 (please call to verify)
    Lender: National City Bank

  4. Congrat to atty Michael Pines! I wish I had an atty like you for our case in MA.

  5. What is next for us that are trying to save the house from being foreclosed? I am so tired of being taken adavantage of the loan modification and the attorneys behind the scam? I feel biitter experiencing the injustice every day here in this country. I am not giving up the hope, but just ready to walk away from all. The chaotic news opening up the fraud from left to right and top to bottom, are so depressing because I am just like an ordinary American family who just being scammed from day one that I signed the note. Based on the legal system, does it matter what the crooks have done because they will get away with it. I went through it in front of mye eyes, it is real and worst out there.

  6. Hey Kim Thomas, slow the**** down, please? That whole thing about bank mistakes and we can help ans especially about making it right…OH PLEASE!

    Go somewhere else? Or read.


  8. Bill McAuliffe,

    Note Alabama is NOT on the initial joint statement. Not from Alabama – but what is going on in Alabama?? Vote out Sponsor of Notary Bill – Congressman Aderholt

  9. Lucy

    My friend – you did it again. Unbelievable video – Max Keiser is right. And, he correctly blames Mr. Henry (Hank) Paulson (and Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke). What has happened in America – and been covered up by America – is incredible. Unless this county’s officials act fast and quick to atone for what has been done to the American people – we are in big trouble. We must separate ourselves right now – from a global stock market that is concealing the real fate of the US economy (federal reserve is propping up the market) – and start acting like we really care about our people and our country – and not just the banksters. Now – not later – NOW.

    And, what have we done to ourselves – we have elected these people?? It is not just Obama – it is Bush before him- and Clinton before him – and nearly every senator and congressman associated. WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING??

    Been saying this for years. And – every single government official/agency/senator/congressman ignored. Much could have been avoided had we stopped the fat cat lobbying – and stopped MR. HENRY PAULSON – IMMEDIATELY. – when he took control..

    We can win – but not without recognizing the wrongs that have occurred. An addict will never recover – unless he admits his wrongs. US MUST ADMIT IT”S WRONGS. Stop the cover-up. Stop the court cover-up. Stop the fat cat lobbying and campaign donations (no thanks, US SUPREME COURT – you allowed this to continue).

    We must continue to stand up for ourselves. The media is out like wolves today – stating Robo-signer problems – are NO problem – all will be fixed. It is not the Robo-signing itself – it is the fraud that the Robo-signers attest to. It is the fraud from the onset – and, which continues until every possible targeted home is foreclosed.

    Neil – you are great – but the people must organize – must go to and speak before Washington. Need to form group that allows us access. Everyone here should participate.

    Been fighting way before anyone even knew what a subprime mortgage even was. The battle is intense, difficult, fought against you with fraud, and always with power.
    How this carried over in courts – is the real question.

    Watching the Massachuettes video is just unbelievable. Will not name judges names (but he kind of looks like Donald Trump – the “hair”) – what is he thinking?? He states ””they owe the debt” – does not fraud even matter to this judge?? Hopefully, he was just “fishing” – and does not really believe what he actually says!!!

  10. Regarding the above post. Most disturbing to hear – “this is civil matter and no other action taken” (paraphrase). Sounds to me like this is not only a civil matter but, also, a criminal matter. This is a cop-out. This is how we got to where we are now – they still just do not get it that homes are being stolen – call it what you want – but someone should be held criminally accountable.

  11. what about indymac no body is mentioning them

  12. This time Michael Pines, Esq goes to jail with his clients


  13. The MLS Multiple Listing Service in Florida is removing and not accepting REO’S.

  14. Fred,

    You are 100% right. I made the statement last week to my Husband. They never converyed the mortgages so they can continue to sell them….. Amazing isn’t it…….

  15. Everybody please read the document.
    It’s 83pages but worth reading.

    Also, watch this video:


    Anonymous, I would appreciate your take on this.
    I think president Obama is and was trying to avoid this global crisis,

    We’ve been so caught up in our own foreclosure mess but reality is so much worse than our domestic crisis.

    I’m all for sending these criminal banksters to jail, but we also have our obligation to save and protect our country.

    We need to put aside our anger for awhile and take a deep breath and try to see the BIG picture,
    How do we get justice, but at the same time, we mustn’t and shouldn’t put our country at the risk.of global backlash.

    As a president of the U.S. What should Obama do?

  16. Nobody has brought up the distinct possibility that the loan servicers may well have bundled and sold each of these loans MORE THAN ONCE to differernt investors via the securitization process. THIS COULD BE THE REAL REASON THAT THERE IS NO DOCUMENTATION / PAPER TRAIL. The non-existent documentation and accounting is entirely consistent with this scenario. This means that the entire plan was a true Ponzi scheme in the worst sense. In other words, rather than selling the loan once to investors, as we have all naively been assuming, there is no reason to believe that they did not double-dip or quintuple-dip and sell the exact same loan to completely new buyers. THIS IS A LEVEL OF FRAUD THAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS NOT YET CONTEMPLATED.

  17. Notice that in the Simi Valley re-taking imbroglio, the cops showed up (and Simi Valley cops are notorious for showing up and displaying force), took one good look, and decided that it was a “civil matter” and took the view that their only role was to maintain the peace, not take sides in a civil dispute about who owns what. That was a very smart move on their part.

    Note also that several Michigan County “high sheriffs” have announced that they will no longer do evictions; not their role in maintaining the peace.

    This brings to mind the famous case of the entire park (plus some apartment buildings) that were simply taken over by hippies in Berlin a few years back. Even the efficient German police decided to do nothing. the squatters were there for years.

    Palm Beach Post
    Tom Ice was a desert boy who wanted to be Jacques Cousteau. He earned the degree and everything, leaving his home in Santa Fe, N.M., to study ocean engineering at the University of Miami.

    But the former high school debater had an inexplicable change of heart, one that has led him from the rhythmic comfort of the ocean to the tense arguments of the courtroom.

    Ice, 50, has emerged as a Robin Hood of sorts in the tangled world of foreclosures, representing homeowners and fighting powerful law firms backed by big banks.

    From his West Palm Beach home — he doesn’t have an office at his firm in Royal Palm Beach — Ice’s legal wrangling is largely recognized for contributing to the nationwide suspension of foreclosures enacted by several major lenders. On Wednesday, attorneys general from every state launched a nationwide probe of loan servicers.

    Ice credits his engineering background for his attention to detail, and years of litigating for his tenacity. He was trained, he said, to doubt everything the other side says and “look under every rock.”

    What he and his wife, Ariane, found buried under boulders of foreclosure paperwork were backdated documents, affidavits sworn to by bank employees processing thousands of foreclosures a month, and questionable assignments of mortgages coming out of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS.

    After the discoveries, Ice did what any good litigator would do, he asked to depose employees involved in creating the documents.

    Then, and this is what he credits much of the snowball of foreclosure suspensions to, he made the unusual move of posting the depositions on his website.

    “None of this could have occurred without an exchange of information,” said St. Petersburg foreclosure defense attorney Matt Weidner. “Ice was absolutely instrumental and an essential key.”

    Ice believes his firm was the first to depose GMAC Mortgage employee Jeffrey Stephan.

    Stephan was one of the first identified “robo-signers,” attesting to the veracity of 10,000 foreclosure affidavits a month, and swearing to the impossible feat of personally reviewing support documentation on each.

    GMAC, renamed Ally Financial, announced last month it was suspending some foreclosures. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Litton Loan Servicing, and PNC Financial Services Group followed.

    “We’ve studied this for two years and I fear we are just scratching the surface,” Ice said. “It is a rabbit hole.”

    Ice, who has been quoted by major U.S. newspapers about his foreclosure work, never expected to be a foreclosure attorney.

    For most of his 25 years practicing law he has worked in large firms defending corporations.

    But about two-and-a-half years ago, Ice, who has an 8-year-old son, decided to go out on his own, opening a one-man bankruptcy firm.


    Ice soon realized he could better help his clients defending foreclosures in state court.

    “The real estate attorneys would get an affidavit and say, `OK, I guess we lose,’ ” Ice said. “My thing was to say, well, let’s take a deposition and file for discovery.”

    Ice Legal, where the motto is “Your home is your castle, defend it,” now has seven attorneys working mostly foreclosure cases.

    Riviera Beach resident Barbara Williams, 57, has been an Ice Legal client since 2008 when a work injury and subsequent income reduction led her into foreclosure.

    Williams, a licensed practical nurse, said she’s hoping to work out a new payment agreement with her bank.

    “I don’t feel like they are just doing something to make a buck,” Williams said about Ice Legal. “I am very confident they are doing everything for my benefit and giving it 100 percent.”

    400 CLIENTS

    Ice has 400 active clients and said he’s only lost a handful of cases. He admits to workaholic hours. “It was hard to get people to take us seriously in the beginning,” Ice said.

    And he’s undoubtedly stepped on toes.

    He filed more than 100 motions to disqualify Palm Beach County foreclosure Judge Meenu Sasser alleging she was biased against his attorneys and gave preferential treatment to lenders.

    Several of the cases where Sasser denied his motion to disqualify her went to the 4th District Court of Appeal. The appeals court sided with the judge, saying in one case that Ice seemed intent on frustrating the “efficient function of the foreclosure division.”

    West Palm Beach Attorney Gerald Richman of Richman Greer, P.A., has complained in general about foreclosure defense attorneys using questionable tactics to stall cases.

    “If someone is clearly in default and really doesn’t have a valid defense, it’s wrong to go ahead and drag a case on,” Richman said. “Some defense lawyers are basically creating issues to delay for delay’s sake.”

    But Ice said forging signatures, as is alleged to have happened at one South Florida foreclosure law firm, and swearing to things that aren’t true are fraud upon the court that should be exposed.

    “Just because the bank says they own your home, doesn’t mean they do,” Ice said. “For too long, people were just hoping no one would look behind the curtain.”

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