Questions to Ask Attorney Before Retaining:

• How long has the attorney been practicing foreclosure defense?

• What are his/her strategies and tactics in that defense?

• How many foreclosure cases has the attorney defended?

• How many foreclosure cases has the attorney gotten dismissed?

• How many foreclosure cases has the attorney appealed?

• What are the names, case #s, court docket #s of those cases?

• Is the attorney a litigator? (“litigation” is filing motions, taking depositions, subpoenas and appearing in court for hearings and trial)

• Besides filing an answer or a motion for extension of time, what will the attorney do to defend the case?

• Does the attorney have a court reporter at every hearing in order to preserve issues in your case for appeal?

• Is the attorney willing to fight it all the way and not settle for a loan mod?

• Is the attorney familiar with all the hot topics of MERS, assignment fraud, signature fraud, HIDC (ownership to foreclose), securitization issues, etc.?

• Has the attorney ever been disciplined or suspended from the bar?

• Does the attorney offer bankruptcy as an integrated service?

• How do they charge? Hourly? One big retainer, pay as they bill? Small retainer, pay as they bill? Small retainer and set monthly payments? If paying initial retainer and a set monthly payment, how does that monthly payment transfere into actual billable hours? If billable hours do not use up monthly retainer, will there be a credit to future billing? (e.g. $1000 payment but that month billable was only $500, will the $500 carry over?

• Based on how they bill, will they charge for any copying, emails, phone conversations, etc. This is standard but with those that do a monthly set payment, they often will not charge for the incidentals.

• Will they provide you a copy of all pleadings, complaints, actions, filings, responses, etc. regarding your case?

Then go to the Court house and look at the attorney cases and observe him at Hearings. Case files are public info.

Recommended Reading and Resource Books

. Represent Yourself in Court by Paul Bergman Att.

. 23 Legal Defenses to Foreclosure by Troy Doucet

• Foreclosures by National Consumer Law Center

• Truth in Lending by National Consumer Law Center

• The Cost of Credit by National Consumer Law Center

• Consumer Law Pleadings by National Consumer Law Center

• 23 Legal Defenses to Foreclosure by Troy Doucet

• Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations by Janet M. Tavakoli

• Legal Research: How to Find & Understand the Law by Stephen Elias & Susan Levinkind

• Business Law by Robert W. Emerson, J.D.

• Civil Procedure: A Contemporary Approach by A. Benjamin Spence

• Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin

• Modern Money Mechanics by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

13 Responses

  1. Nomods, aka M.Soliman

  2. @ anonymous,

    Non of your post are contributional in helping those in need of important information.move on troll.your just taking bandwidth and slowing down the Internet traffic.slandering others reputation will not get your 5 min fame.go to facebook were that stuff belongs..

  3. Dave,
    Mike Wasylik Esq. is one of the best Florida Foreclosure Defense lawyer. He is our Florida Hero.

    I can’t find the Powerhouse link to your broascast with Mike. Can you help ?

  4. I am with you anonymous.I would never recomended him neither

  5. I will tell you one lawyer I would not recomend from personal experience, Steven Wen-hoa kop of Los Angeles Ca. and his expert witness referal M.Soliman!!!

  6. Another item of note: When you start looking for a lawyer, begin with talking to lawyers who practice bankruptcy law and represent individuals in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Also ask them about their track record with quiet title lawsuits. Ask them to give you the names of the bankruptcy and quiet title cases so that you can look them up online. Hire an experienced lawyer who has been practicing at least 10 years. I am in California, which is a non-judicial foreclosure state. Defending a UD and bringing a quiet title suit in this context is a slippery slope and is not for newbies. Start contacting lawyers AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE in the process, preferably before you are even served with papers. If you have to represent yourself and then hire a lawyer, you may unwittingly damage your case which will make the lawyer’s job harder. I should know because it happened to us AND I’ve been in the legal biz (paralegal) for 30 years. Even if you’re headed for foreclosure right now, NOW is the time to contact a lawyer — even if you’re in the modification stage because there’s no assurance that you will get the mod at all.

  7. Excellent article.  You want to make sure you hire the right kind of lawyer.  You also need to do some independent research on the lawyer to ensure he is reputable and knows what he is doing.  NEVER take anything a lawyer says at face value, especially when you are interviewing him/her.  Most importantly, DO NOT represent yourself unless you absolutely have no choice — you will NEVER prevail.  The courtroom is a “clubhouse” for lawyers; if you’re not a lawyer, you don’t have a prayer’s chance in Hell.  Period.  Finally, don’t simply assume you cannot afford a lawyer.  Typically the biggest hurdle is the initial retainer; if you are proactive, you can interview and hire a lawyer and give him/her the retainer in chunks while he is putting together the necessary documents for you.  If you are in LA county, please drop me a note and I’ll send you info about my lawyer Phil Dapeer.  He’s wonderful!

  8. Who does legal aid fight for? Where do they get their money from? Who pays them? I’ve got good reason to ask. Who’s side is legal aid on? I’m sure their on our side for the most part but what outcome eventually, do they seek? I know they would fight for modifications for homeowners but do they believe the banks should be punished? If not, why not? Any Legal aid Attorneys out there?

  9. This is helpful, but the problem is the cost. Many borrowers cannot afford the cost, and some lawyers do not have much interest in helping someone “save” their house – I live in a major wealthy metro area on the East Coast, and a quiet title action retainer fee is over 5K. This is according to one “boot camp graduate” I spoke with.

  10. i meant to post my last comment under a different article. sorry

  11. so, are the courts and bar association just letting foreclosure lawyers break the law at will? without consequence? i have a similar situation where the foreclosing law firm had one of its attorneys sign off on an assignment of mortgage from mers to a securitized trust, basicly fabricating evidence for their clients. how are they getting away with this?

  12. Ann,

    There is one key question that must be asked FIRST before all others …


    In fact, you can ask the secretary at the law firm that picks up the phone that question. He or she should know the answer, since they are well aware of their client base. They can’t represent consumers if they’re representing banks because that would be a conflict of interest for them.

    After finding out that piece of information, you then can proceed onto the next attorney. If you get a “We represent banks”, say “Thanks” and HANG UP. DO NOT ASK WHO YOU KNOW WHO REPRESENTS CONSUMERS IN FORECLOSURE DEFENSE! The bar community is very tightly knit.

    Above all … and this has happened or I wouldn’t be mentioning it … DO NOT TELL ANYONE YOUR STORY! Do not give up any information until you get the above question answered. If they are consumer litigators, then fine. Then you want to find out their hourly rate and whether they work off of a flat fee (or retainer) plus a percentage of the damage awards.

    DO NOT PROCEED TO TELL THEM HOW TO LITIGATE! Just because you’ve read this blog for 3 years doesn’t make you an attorney! Get that through your head BEFORE you call the attorney. You will be sadly disappointed when the attorney tells you “I’m too busy to take your case” after you’ve spent the last 15 minutes telling him how he’s going to litigate your case and ranting at him about your situation. This is a sign to the attorney that you are high maintenance and nothing but trouble for them in the future.

    You should probably also read CLOUDED TITLES and do your homework at the courthouse to see what’s been filed in the land records. (to get the eBook version);
    also available in hard copy by emailing me through the website. I am running into attorneys all over the U.S. that are keenly interested in doing quiet title actions … all with real property law experience.
    Just added one in LA, Nashville and Atlanta to the list.

    If you checked your courthouse records (maybe even looked at your own deed of trust or mortgage) and you see MERS on it, you probably should talk to your attorney about his options for dealing with that entity. They do need to be dealt with.

    BTW, if you’re going to use consent orders as evidence to a court that the Band of 5 all agree that your bank or LPS/DOCX or MERS was a bad boy, you may wish to obtain a certified signed copy from the OCC, rather than using blank downloads. It looks better as evidence.

    Tampa attorney Mike Wasylik and I were on The Power Hour last week. You may wish to visit and go to ARCHIVES and listen to the last broadcast.

    A storm is brewing …

  13. […] Source: Livinglies’s Weblog […]

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