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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I red a law firm in 2012 to help with a mortgage

Customer Question

I hired a law firm in 2012 to help with a mortgage modification after WF advised to miss a payment to qualify then started foreclosure. The atty made promises, required full payment up front before doing anything, and has not done anything he stated in our initial meeting. I have been passed off to 13 non-atty "advocates" in 3 yrs and at my last meeting at his office the intern put my file in front of me and left the room. The note attached to the front stated"This file has been a problem for yrs.____ made a serious mistake and left us hanging out liable. We need to get it off the books ASAP" This week I was denied a HAMP due to the input numbers the atty office gave WF and when I requested a copy of the denial from 2013 I never received the intern sent me a doc that looks like I was approved. It has a GSE loan# ***** is extended from 119mo to 359mo, HAMP=Yes, ect. IF this is the mistake the note refered to and now the balance has gone from $38395 to over $70000 in the 32 months since and a sale date is 10/30/15 what recourse do I have? What can I do to stop the sale? Atty says sell home of 23yrs or chap. 13 with $1700 payments (gross income is $1400) my only choice. Had I been aware of the 2013 HAMP approval none of this would be an issue.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation. Based on what you have posted, it appears you have a very likely case of legal malpractice. The best way to protect yourself is to contact a legal malpractice attorney as soon as possible (by working with a malpractice attorney early on, it is sometimes possible to get the negligent attorney's malpractice carrier to work to deal with the underlying problem (save your home) rather than have to wait and pay you money damages).

Legal malpractice cases are based almost entirely on expert testimony. You must not only find an attorney to act as an expert witness regarding the standard of care for your prior lawyer (to prove the "negligence" elements of the case), but also an attorney expert (and potentially other experts) to testify regarding the underlying claim (you must prove that absent the attorney's malpractice you would have achieved a better result - often termed "the case within the case").

Due to the complexity of these claims, I highly recommend that you retain a legal malpractice plaintiff's lawyer (also called trial attorneys). Fortunately the majority of these attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, and many will represent you on a contingency basis (they will advance the costs of litigation and legal services in exchange for a portion of your successful settlement or judgment).

You can find local attorneys using the State and Local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a way to stop or postpone the sale date on 10/30/15 under these circumstances?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I could find a lawyer who would take the case how long does it take usually to resolve? Is it years or could I possibly save my home? Being disabled moving is next to impossible, 30 days to move not even close.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

It is possible to stop a sale in this time frame, but you do need to take action quickly. I would recommend speaking with another attorney as soon as possible so that you can form a plan and move forward.

(Your creditor (the bank) will likely want to work something out as opposed to have your house go through an expensive foreclosure process, but you need to have a plan for this to work, you need an active attorney helping you manage your case to do this).

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry didn't mean to keep you hanging I needed to take a break. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. How do I find a good lawyer? I really liked Avvo and findlaw but he's on both of them and using the rating system on their sites doesn't work, I went back and looked and now that I've had communication with so many of his interns and know their email addresses, lets just say now I see how he got that four star rating. He was also highly recommended on a local channel where they've featured him 33 times in two yrs on an afternoon show. In Washington unless there was disciplinary action by the bar nothing comes up as far as far as complaints or praises for that matter. So how can I tell if the lawyer I'm talking to is not only experienced but actually good at it litigation. And do I need an attorney that does real estate and legal malpractice since it concerns my house? I'm sorry if these are stupid questions but I'm getting that "deer caught in the headlights" syndrome and starting to panic. It would have been nice to have more than 30 days warning, guess it took a couple days to sink in what he's done, now I'm scared I'll end up being the bag lady living in a bus with 101 cats.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Try the Martindale Ratings (Martindale uses peer reviews - so other attorneys give their opinions of one another leading to the "AV" (best) "BV" (second) and "CV" ratings).

Unfortunately there isn't a perfect way to do this, but you are starting to enter into a smaller world of litigation attorneys (legal malpractice is a fairly specialized area of practice and there aren't a lot of attorneys that do it, those that do are generally pretty good at their job - the risk of malpractice is very real and very present as that is what they deal with every day).

Yes, you will want an attorney that has at least some familiarity with the foreclosure process, but I don't know that you need a specialist in both, you really need someone that specializes in legal malpractice.

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