FORECLOSURE MILLS USING INTIMIDATION AGAINST FORECLOSURE DEFENSE LAWYERS

I’ve been the target myself, so I know what they are talking about. The reports I am receiving is that finding lawyers willing to take foreclosure defense cases is getting more difficult because of successful intimidation by opposing counsel. They are doing background checks on the lawyer, finding things that might be embarrassing or threatening them with other consequences like bar grievances, if they proceed in their defense of homeowners.

If you are in this position, write a letter to the Bar Association. Tell them that you are taking clients to assist them in foreclosure defense and that the opposing attorney has made threatening calls to you. If the threat was that they would report you for a violation of the bar rules, then ask them if you are in compliance (describe what you are doing). If the threat is exposure of some private matter then make sure you send a copy of the letter to the Bar Association regulating the attorney who called or wrote to you, and file a police report for extortion. File a Bar grievance against the offending attorney, and you can say, if you believe it, that this appears to be a policy of the firm to cover up fraud on the part of their client and in which they may be complicit by the creation or knowing use of fabricated exhibits.

You can also file a Motion for Contempt of Court or for Sanctions for the misbehavior of opposing counsel.

Then send a letter to the attorney and the head of his law firm stating precisely (without exaggeration) what was said or done. Tell them that you have reported the event to the appropriate authorities. Demand an apology and a withdrawal of the threat or complaint in writing.

If you don’t kick back, they win. They have nothing to beat you with in court. Their conduct, resorting to such low levels, obviously demonstrates the weakness of their position.

14 Responses

  1. Just to mention but one example of foreclosure mill lawyer abuse, it has come to my attention that an attorney with the notorious mill of Barrett Daffin Frappier, in their California office, is engaging in most seamy behavior. Specifically, Ed Treder, known on the web and referred to in blogs and on Scribd as “Fat Boy Ed Treder,” has been electronically stalking a single woman homeowner who has been putting up a furious resistance to a phony non-judicial foreclosure.

    Electronic stalking is, in my view, an actionable offense, in that it is undertaken to instill fright and fear in the target, and is just as much a form of harassment as following someone in an auto. I will be filing a Complaint with the Grievance Committee of the CA Bar Assn regarding Fat Boy’s internet stalking. With respect to Treder, I would encourage others to follow suit. Treder disgusts me.

  2. @seattlematt,
    Puget Sound homeowner’s are beginning to organize. Come to the MeetUp on Tues, March 8th, 6:30 pm. We are meeting at Tully’s on Market St & 22nd Ave NW, in Ballard.

    Share this with others you may know.

  3. Any knowledge of Oklahoma? Anyone willing to confirm? We have 4 major mills in Okie land.

  4. We have been the subjects of threats of intimidation by mills up here in Washington. The big firms are almost immune from the scrutiny of the bar association. Yet, the small firms, the ones fighting for homeowners, are getting hammered. We are the subject of constant attack by the other side’s firms, the Bar association and even some of the local non-profits. “Giving home owner’s false hope.” “Abusing the process.” Until the people start to make their voices heard the status quo will remain.

  5. They are doing it to the judges.

  6. “Successful Intimidation”… back ground checks etc. sounds like large firms with a big stake in the game, perhaps nationwide firms like the Shapiro Network aka LOGS , that suckled the likes of Stern at their tete. Name’s identifying who is doing this to single practitioners would be helpful. One would think that they are recoding every and all conversations with the intimidators!

  7. My attorney experienced verbal intimidation in the form of “we will file a bar complaint against you for frivolous lawsuits.” Those were the exact words.

    Then I went the next Friday and protested at their PRIVATE/PUBLIC sale…meaning a trustee in our state is in violation of our state DOT Act. These foreclosure auctions are supposed to be held on PUBLIC LANDS. At my protest, there were four groups of people from NWTrustee that came down and intimidated me! I told them to go to hell and the only way I was going to leave a PUBLIC sale was with police escort. I also told them they were in violation of state law. I told them I had a copy of DOT Act on my person and would show it to any police officer that came.

    They went away.

  8. I have never run into this. My response, additional to the perfunctory filing of the police complaint, would be to file suit against the offenders. For $250 for a filing fee and another $100 for the marshal for service, now they can go explain themselves to the Jury (which is always interesting). Plus, it brings in the insurance carriers, who will either increase next year’s premiums by about $10,000, or non-renew them, and that is always interesting.

  9. Here in WA. state we have sat outside of court rooms and watched and listened to attorneys sell thier clients down the river because the bank gave them money to do it.It’s really not a fair playing field when you pay a retainer to a attorney and they take that and then take the banks money and sell you down the river.We are a non-judicial state so you can imagine its a lot worse here than in judicial states.

  10. Unfortunately, Bar Associations do not do anything to prevent lawyers from running amok. However, making a police report and showing the police the threatening letter or taping their phone calls could be a good idea. Be careful not to run afoul of recording laws. SC and federal law only requires one party to the recording. Other states vary.

    File a complaint for harrassment, threatening you, illegal use of the telephone (SC), stalking and/or get a restraining order. Is he calling you over state lines? Federal laws will apply. Burmese8@yahoo.com

  11. Neil is 100% correct. Nobody really wants to delve in the trenches of foul play, but let me tell you all right now, that the only way to win is to be more vicious then the enemy.
    If someone threatens you go right to the authorities and file a complaint. Go to your local court house and file a complaint and seek a restraining order for intimidation and you will see how fast they back off.
    Everyone forgets about the media, they love that kind of story; call the editors desk of your newspaper and see is they will do a story or let you write an op ed.
    The bottom line is they are the criminals not us and to beat them you cannot be afraid to lash out if you have to.
    Fight to win! Nothing else will suffice. Every time a lawyer pulls a dirty stunt file a Rule 11 motion for sanctions. Who wants to get suspended or lose their ticket to practice law? Think about it, how much time do they have invested in their careers?? You think in the end they want to throw that away for a client. Well I guess that depends on how big their paycheck is and what kind of deal they may have in place in case they are disbarred.
    Never stop the fight until the fight is over and you are sure the enemy is dead.
    Bob M

  12. The problem is foreclosure defense (or what I like to call foreclosure law) – is a new type of practice that the Bar has yet to wrap their heads around. It’s usually the solo practitioner or small firm that is always the target for Bar Investigations that are repesenting homeowners. The result becomes more and more good attorneys less inclined to take on foreclosure cases. Even worst homeowners use Bar complaints as a means to wiggle out of attorney fees. It’s hard enough for attorneys to abandon their hourly rates to help homeowners without become the subject of Bar complaints. I’ve even seen an instance where opposing counsel actually teamed up with a homeowner against the attorney who was trying to help the homeowner simply because opposing counsel lost a few cases to the attorney in the past and the homeowner was classic tramatic stress disorder who had jumped through several attorneys on the case claiming all of them to be inadequate. It was sad because the homeowner became their worst enemy and only hurt their case.

    Large firms hardly get investigated by the Bar while solo practitioners are constantly targeted. I suppose that coupled with the unnecessary (and at most times rediculous) limitations and restrictions the Bar places on attorneys is what causes graduates to opt for working for a large firm verus practicing solo. Large firms are never restricted in the way they obtain clients while solo practitioners remain under strict scrutiny.

    David Stern still has his license and will most likely be indicted and in prison before the Bar suspends him let alone revokes his license to practice. Attorneys involved in billion dollar ponzi scemes are still practicing law. If you make a name for yourself in foreclosure defense YOU WILL BE TARGETED! Make no mistake about it.

    -Anthony

  13. This is the perfect strategy to address this issue. Thanks.

    Waiting to hear others comments.

  14. Some of the foreclosure defense attorneys are also receiving offers to take a position working for the banksters in some other role.

    Others have seemingly been ‘bought’ or were unscrupulously taking cases they were never going to handle. I have only to look at what one attorney did to me, leaving me with only a letter threatening to sue that I was supposed to ‘wave around’ at the auction.

    I took action on my own instead of being a ‘letter-waving fool’ at that auction. It was stopped. The attorney got the BOOT from ME.

    Last I heard the state bar is investigating him.

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