Pam Bondi, Florida’s Attorney General, filed a court action in late August to shut down a group of non-lawyers that had been offering foreclosure defense services under the guise of several entities, including the Asset Protection Law Firm, Heritage Law Group, and Liberty Law Group. These entities collected upfront and monthly fees from homeowners in exchange for what they claimed were legal foreclosure defense services, but none of those services were supervised by licensed attorneys. The Attorney General’s office is also currently investigating the possibility of bringing criminal charges against several defendants for the unlicensed practice of law.
Homeowners whose houses are in foreclosure are already under substantial stress when they face the risk of losing their homes. Unscrupulous entities that promise fraudulent defense services are tragically taking advantage of these homeowners when their mindsets are most vulnerable. A legitimate and professional foreclosure defense attorney will never use high-pressure sales tactics to convince a homeowner to retain him for legal services. He may ask for a small retainer up front, but that retainer will be held in a client funds account and an attorney will charge his fees against that retainer only after he completes agreed-upon services for a homeowner.
The Attorney General’s action against these entities was catalyzed by a number of complaints from homeowners who relied on false representations regarding the entities’ legal expertise, and who then paid upfront fees for services that they ultimately did not receive or that were performed without an attorney’s oversight. Several of those homeowners lost their homes in the foreclosure process after the services they paid for failed to provide any relief.
The tragedy of this situation is that it overshadows the legitimate legal defense bar that has worked tirelessly to help Florida homeowners keep their homes where lenders and loan processors failed to comply with their own obligations under loan documents that may have been passed through multiple hands, or that were “robo-signed”. The attorneys at the offices of Jonathan Kline, P.A., continue to help those homeowners to secure their rights against predatory lenders and loan servicing companies. Please see our website or contact us to schedule a consultation on how we can help you to defend against a foreclosure action on your Florida home.