Part of the aftermath of the Florida foreclosure process and the housing crisis has been the enormous amount of probing into allegedly unethical processes by attorneys. These questions have been meticulously documented in Dustin Zacks’ recent law review Article, “Robo-Litigation,” which highlighted problematical attorney practices investigated by attorney generals or sanctioned by courts in various states, including Florida, New York, Maryand, and several others. These investigated or alleged practices include everything from overbilling to submitting fraudulent documentation to courts to continually failing to appear for hearings.
Now, news has come to us from Colorado, where the attorney general is investigating alleged overbilling by foreclosure attorneys representing banks, servicers, and lenders. The investigation covers tens of thousands of cases, and alleges that fees accruing to homeowners as part of the legal process, including service of the summons for a lawsuit. These claims are not unique to Colorado, as Florida foreclosure attorneys have been investigated for similar allegations.
While it is so far unclear that these allegations against the Colorado foreclosure firms will be proven, the pattern is unfortunate. Homeowners already under threat of losing their homes, (a threat which produces empirically proven negative health effects), are allegedly being taken advantage of by more powerful parties. We can only hope that one day such practices will be alleviated. Furthermore, these ugly scenarios give a clear indicator of why it is so important to have experienced and competent legal counsel to represent you – without an attorney helping you discover any such practices, these overcharges will remain undiscovered and will be swept under the rug.