Real Estate Law

Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Real Estate Law

I recently battled my bank over a loan workout program they

Customer Question
got me into and pull...
I recently battled my bank over a loan workout program they got me into and pull from me. I spent 5 years fighting them and finally ended up keeping my home, but not after it had accumulated over 200K of past interest, late fees, etc... The loan they gave me in the workout program wasn't the same as I ended up with but I have my home, so that's the important part. I spoke to a law firm out of LA, CA and they said I have a case to go back and get the loan I should have gotten and other things they could help me with like removing the 200K in fees and interest. Through email, their rep that was talking to me assured me that if it didn't go to trial or get a settlement I wouldn't owe them anything and I'd get a full refund. I have that in email. So I paid them $5,495 before I could speak to an attorney about my case and then when I finally did, she said the agreement I had with my bank had covered all possible actions going forward and they couldn't help me. She said I should request and get a full refund, but the company said I wasn't entitled to a refund since the agreement was clear that there was a no refund policy. I did an E-Sign so I never got a copy of the agreement and so far to this date, I still haven't got a copy of it. After several weeks of arguing with someone there, I got a $4,000 refund and they said they were doing that as a courtesy to me. They said they earned the rest but didn't give me any accounting of the fees charged. When I ask, I got a plain sheet of paper with typed fees on it as an accounting sheet. No letterhead, no other info, just a bunch of line items totalling $1,495. Does this sound legal or am I right in thinking they owe me the rest back since their sale rep stated clearly in an email that if it didn't go court or have a favorable outcome for me that I wouldn't be charged anything? Thanks for the help. Robert Beck
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/18/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,000
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the CA Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit and the CA bar against the firm. It is against Federal Trade Commission rules to charge someone up front for loan modification process, so they had no business charging you promising you they would reduce your loan. Also, it is an unfair and deceptive practice under the deceptive trade practices act and you could sue them for up to 3 times the money they owe you. Finally, the state bar governs practices of all attorneys and them violating the FTC rules and also not doing any work and keeping your money is a violation of the code of professional conduct and grounds for the bar to sanction them.

So based on what you said above, those are your options. If those options do not work, your final option is filing suit in court against them, small claims, to recover your money and up to three times what you are due for the unfair and deceptive practices.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you very much for the detailed response. Let me correct myself on the purpose of talking to them, it wasn't for a loan modification, I had already completed that with another law firm. These guys told me I could sue for the trial payment plan I didnt get but wanted and they said there was a clear fraud case for the bank saying I would get the loan workout plan and then not giving me one. So if sued in small claims up here in El Dorado County where I live would that be where they have to come to go to court? And would the email from their acct rep be enough to show deceptive practices? And lastly, would I still be allowed to report them to the state bar for for not doing any work and would that sheet of paper they typed my fees on be enough to prove they really didnt do anything aince its not on letterhead and looks like they did that in 10 mins and made it up? Thanks again
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply.

They still cannot charge you for doing nothing. They told you they could sue and then said they could not sue. That is not grounds to take your money. You have to sue them where they are located and you would have to go to court there, because small claims has limited jurisdiction of where the defendant lives.

Emails would be sufficient proof of the deceptive practices.

You can indeed report them to the bar and argue the fees are false or fraudulent as they did no such work on a case they said they could do nothing with for you.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
If I sue in regular court and not small claims would be able to do that here in my area or it no matter how I sue, its going to be in LA?
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply.

Proper jurisdiction in CA is where the defendant is located, so you need to sue in L.A. no matter what.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Could I have an attorney such as you handle this in LA or do I need to be there myself. What would it cost to get an attorney to do that if it's possible. Would or be smart to give them one last chance to pay or just go forward with legal action. What you recommend my next step be, I really can't afford to go to LA and I think they know this. Thanks so much for the legal advice here.
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply.

You absolutely can hire a local attorney in L.A. to handle that, but no attorney from this site can represent you as it would be forbidden by state law.

I would suggest using a local consumer protection attorney and filing suit against the firm, but before you do so I would file the complaints first and see if the bar and the attorney general can settle this without a suit.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Just so I don't get taken again, about how much should it cost to file that suit in LA with the consumer protection agency and is there a time limit that I can file and complete this? I think I requested my refund from them in June of this year so I want to make sure I'm ok in pursuing this and what's the best way to find an attorney to work with on this when I'm not in the same city? Thanks for all the help and advice. Anything else you can think of that I should know would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply,

It is a consumer protection law attorney, the suit is not filed with the consumer protection agency, and generally they will charge maybe $700 or so.

For filing a complaint with the state bar or the state attorney general, there is no fee. But for suing, you have to sue in the small claims or superior court and the costs usually vary a little, but usually about $500-$700 or so for small claims court is realistic.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 years ago

if you prove the unfair and deceptive practices, which you likely will, then you can potentially get the court to award your attorney's fees as part of the damages together with triple damages as punitive damages.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,000
121,000 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.

Law Educator, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

5,436 satisfied customers

17 years of legal experience including real estate law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

11,126 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

7,785 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

7,559 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,207 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,925 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
I currently live in apartment that had water damage in
I currently live in apartment that had water damage in August of last year. The repair was not done properly and now 4 months later, the paint is peeling, bleeding and I suspect that there is mold and… read more
Bruce Schreiber
Bruce Schreiber
Juris Doctor
209 satisfied customers
Landlord is claiming cracked/split as damage from movers.
Landlord is claiming cracked/split wood as damage from movers. However, he did not do a move-in inspection so there was nothing to compare the move-out inspection. He scheduled the move out inspection… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
The condo above us had a leak that damaged 5 units Is that
The condo above us had a leak that damaged 5 units Is that unit liable … read more
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
35,290 satisfied customers
My condo HOA said my former tenant damaged elevator around
My condo HOA said my former tenant damaged elevator around 04/20/2017, and asking me to pay for repairing bill, I asked for the repairing invoice for months without getting one; On 11/15/17 condo boar… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,182 satisfied customers
Can the HOA be sued for damages resulting in a rat
Can the HOA be sued for damages resulting in a rat infestation in a single unit that spread to adjoining units? … read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
256 satisfied customers
Several neighbors and I received damage on our property from
Several neighbors and I received damage on our property from a city water main break. My direct neighbor received immediate compensation, another house was purchased by the city but I have received no… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers
I had work done to my home and the contractor damaged the
i had work done to my home and the contractor damaged the ceiling after it being totally reworked. they have not scheduled repair or have they acknowledged the damaged. I have been seeking a timely cl… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,647 satisfied customers
A tenant moved out and left numerous damages to the rental
A tenant moved out and left numerous damages to the rental home. Does this automatically breach their contract? And are they entitled to any of their Security Deposit. I have photos and estimates. Hou… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I just had a loss due to water damage. The homeowners
I just had a loss due to water damage. The homeowners insurance covered it. Will I have to pay income on the money the insurance paid me and will I need to claim it on the tax form? … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
7,142 satisfied customers
The home we rent was damaged in the Ventura fire last week.
The home we rent was damaged in the Ventura fire last week. Fortunately my family are safe, and the structure of the home was saved. There is significant damage on the outside of the houe (deck, terra… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers
Regarding damages to the house that he and his sister both
Regarding damages to the house that he and his sister both own, how do you submit the damages that she's done to the house to the court? With the Partition paper work? Also, can I give Power of Attorn… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,559 satisfied customers
Responsibilities when Roof leaks cause damage to interior of
Responsibilities when Roof leaks cause damage to interior of condominium? … read more
TaxAttorneytoHelp
TaxAttorneytoHelp
Owner
Doctoral Degree
2,542 satisfied customers
New house. Water damage in basement. Developer refuses to
New house. Water damage in basement. Developer refuses to pay damages. Property in NH … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
My landlord is withholding my deposit ($3750) for damage
My landlord is withholding my deposit ($3750) for damage wood flooring caused by a burst pipe under the kitchen sink. He claims that it was caused negligently by a sealed container containing chlorine… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,688 satisfied customers
Missouri homeowner files damage claim with insurance
Missouri homeowner files damage claim with insurance company, and, receives $150,000. Insurance check is written jointly to homeowner & servicer; signed by homeowner and sent to servicer for deposit. … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,647 satisfied customers
A condo that I have a contract on was damaged in hurricane
A condo that I have a contract on was damaged in hurricane Irma. Some water got into the unit through a damaged roof. The sellers got a remediator in there and the result is now a dry condo with missi… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
Another property damaged my property by illegal diversion of
Hi another property damaged my property by illegal diversion of storm water. I have not sued them yet but now they are selling their home trying to run from me. Viewing your article. … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
If a landlord brings video "evidence" of damage beyond
If a landlord brings video "evidence" of damage beyond normal wear and tear on a unit, but does not have proof that the tenant caused the damage (i.e. video or photographs of the unit before tenants i… read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Doctoral Degree
17,290 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x