Recently, I have been reading a number of opinions throughout the 11th Circuit, and Southern District of Florida, which bear the names of uniquely Haitian families. In each of the cases the borrower Plaintiffs did not succeed on their claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and in each of these cases, which should not have been filed, the Court, their Orders and quite frankly I as well, began to wonder “how this case was filed?” Last week, I met with a potential client in my office. This potential client was certain their loan servicer had violated federal law and touted an already filed Complaint in our meeting as “proof” thereof. Although the potential client told me in broken English that it could take a couple of hours for them to relate what they perceived as a long story, I felt it best I ask some introductory questions first. I asked the potential client about a few minor, but important details so that I can better assess the situation, and the cause of action already pending.
Within 3-5 minutes I had my answer. The potential client’s case pending was a sham. I informed the client I could do not help them fight their servicer under RESPA. As we wrapped up the meeting I felt it best to ask the potential client how they came to file a Complaint in federal court with such a limited knowledge of the English language which although both quoting and citing the complexities of RESPA, was clearly founded upon poor facts. The potential client confided in me that there was a well-dressed man who approached him with a promise to review his loan for a $150.00 charge. Following a “loan review”, this well-dressed man, a non-attorney, allegedly told the potential client of “clear violations” on their federally related mortgage loans, and then provided him a ready-made RESPA Complaint to file in federal court. The man required they pay all their own court filing fees and costs. Essentially the scammer stole $550 from this potential client who did not seem to have that kind of money just laying around for disposal.
We at Loan Lawyers suspect that there is a new scam targeting minorities, and feel we are obligated to make as much “noise” about the scam as possible. The scammers are targeting people at their most vulnerable points, which quite frankly is nothing new. However, we are concerned that scammers may demand monies for alleged RESPA causes of action that simply do not exist. Although you may feel overwhelmed by sheer frustration with your loan servicers who all too often also prey upon the unsuspecting and weary, to have viable cause of action in federal court you must have good facts and equally good compliance with the law. When either of those two pieces of the litigation puzzle is missing, do not proceed. Again, the potential client was fooled into paying for a service that we provide FOR FREE. And while the potential client had their troubles discovered within 3-5 minutes of basic work on my part; asking the right questions and looking in the right places for the right answers, surprisingly, the troubles for this potential client, possibly like many other minorities, did not come from the loan servicer, but rather from scammers using an immigrant’s legal unfamiliarity and naiveté to the personal financial gain and advantage of the scammers themselves.
I informed the potential client to tell their friends and neighbors that at Loan Lawyers we do NOT charge to review potential cases under RESPA and rather we take use our resources, skills, knowledge and our time to ensure that each of our potential clients are provided excellent loan servicing from their loan servicers, and that when they are not, that our clients also have an excellent legal team behind them. Filing a case in federal court without any legal basis to do so can have serious consequences. If you believe you have an issue with your loan servicer and need help to resolve it, I highly recommend that you do not look elsewhere, schedule an appoint with Loan Lawyers and Attorney Michael Citron today!
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