Legal Alliance, PLLC—Warning Signs of a Stop Foreclosure Scam
Posted by Robert Weed / in Weekly Posts /
Legal Alliance, PLLC—Warning Signs of a Stop Foreclosure Scam.
Two people, just this week, brought me letters they got from an outfit calling itself Legal Alliance, PLLC. (One of the two had paid them $2500.)
This letter is chock full of the warning signs of a scam.
First page of the Legal Alliance, PLLC letter claims they have “experienced real estate attorneys” but they never give you their names. Odd? A warning sign of a scam.
1. Claiming to be lawyers but no lawyer names.
Most lawyers love to put their names on stuff. (I can say that, since I’m a lawyer. And i put my name everywhere.) This Legal Alliance, PLLC has no names of any actual lawyers. Why is that? Maybe the lawyer(s) behind it has a bad reputation. Maybe the lawyer(s) behind it has a good reputation that they don’t want mixed up with in something bad. Maybe they are unusually humble. Maybe.
2. Claiming to be lawyers but you don’t get to talk to a lawyer.
Here’s a quote from page three of the letter.
The client understands that he or she may be speaking with non-attorney staff member and that in that case all discussions are for general information and cannot be viewed or construed in any way to be legal advice. unless notified otherwise assume that you are speaking to a non-attorney.
The short version of that is, you can’t count on anything we say.
3. You promise not to sue.
This is even more spectacular.
The Client hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Firm from and against any liability of any nature whatsoever arising out of, or in connection with this Agreement. In addition the client agrees to pay all the Firm’s legal costs associated with claims arising form this Agreement.
Legal Alliance, PLLC wants you agree you will never sue then—even if they take your fee and do nothing.
Even if they take your $2500 and do absolutely nothing—and then lie about what they haven’t done—you aren’t allowed to sue them. And you agree with you sue them anyway, Legal Alliance, PLLC can sue you.
Among other things, that provision is a legal ethics violation, in Virginia and many other states. Why would you trust someone who wanted you to sign that?
4. False claims?
Having warned you that you can’t count on their promises, what does Legal Alliance, PLLC tell you they will do? In big letters: STOP THE FORECLOSURE SALE UNTIL THE BANK HAS PROVIDED ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION, WHICH THEY MAY NOT HAVE.
“May not have?” Well anything is possible. Just ask them, ‘can you give me the contact info on just two of your clients where you have successfully stopped the foreclosure. Just two.’ See what they say.
They double down on that promise: We ensure they have all of the required documentation. IN MOST CASES THEY DON’T.
That I know isn’t true. And over the years, out of more than 15,000 bankruptcy clients, I’ve seen three or four cases where the mortgage papers were messed up in some way that helped save someone’s home. But that’s less than one out of a thousand. No where near “most cases.”
5. Phony time lines and useless activity.
Here’s the specific thing Legal Alliance, PLLC promises to do. They promise to send a Qualified Written Request to the mortgage company that’s foreclosing you. Sounds good, why do I say it’s phony? Your mortgage company has thirty business days—that’s six weeks, or more if there’s a holiday in there—to answer that Qualified Written Request. But, they send their letter out thirty calendar days before the foreclosure sale is set. In other words, by the time they get the documents which are supposedly gonna stop the foreclosure, they are two weeks too late.
So, they never give you any legal advice, send one letter, get no information in time to do anything to stop the foreclosure, and then? Sometimes they send you to a bankruptcy lawyer, where you should have gone to begin with. And your $2500 is down the drain.
Why do People Fall for Scams?
The purpose of bankrutpcy is to help you. But bankruptcy requires complicated, annoying paper work and it can be expensive. (In some cases I’m charging less than $2500; some cases a lot more. It depends on how complicated your situation is, and what you are trying to do.)
Some people don’t want to take the time and spend the money to get a law and a lawyer on your side. So they fall for simpler, cheaper scams.