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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Dani, Aug 10, 2001.
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I have a friend who works with these kinds of things all the time. He is not an attorney, but he is a true professional in terms of what he gets done for people.
If you will send me an email I will give you his email and you can contact him to see what he thinks he can do for you.
I have no idea what he charges for his work, so you will have to work that out with him.
All I can tell you is that the man is unbelieveably good at getting results and he is nationally famous for his work.
He does not have a website nor does he do any advertising. He is so good that word of mouth alone keeps him so busy he don't need to advertise.
He didn't do what he was hired to do. I think 2 months is a ridiculously long time to wait to find out the specifics. I don't think he has a valid case. Make sure she shows up for court with any and all paper work she does have, and bring any witnesses she may have. Maybe get a copy of her credit report for proof of when this whole thing started.
The problem is their is no paper work. He did not supply her with anything. The credit reports she pulled herself to see where she stood before applying for the loan. I helped her pull her Equifax and Experian online and she got TransUnion through the mail. That is how we know the scores. He didn't even tell her scores nor supply her with any paperwork. All she has to go on is her word versus his. That is why I told to try and remember what occured and actual dates it occured on. Phone calls, office visits, apprisal date, etc. She said she knew something was wrong after three weeks, when he did not return her phone calls and would not answer her questions. I sent her to our company's attorney who handles real estate issues. They are to meet next week. The only other witnesses she has is her husband and me. I was there with her when she told the broker that this loan was not to involve her husband or her personal assets. The broker agreed to this and said he would make it work. Whatta mess.
Then it's your word against his. You might want to check with the BBB to see what kind of history this guy has. Maybe also check with the Real Estate Board for his history of complaints. Hopefully there will be something there and you will have at least some amunition. I'll keep thinking about it and see if I can come up with any ideas.
I have to agree with LKH here, but another valid point you make.
In my view, he did not supply her with the required information (papers, interest rate, etc)
If he did not get any vaild loan offers for her then no such things would have been required of him nor of anyone else. So FTA would not apply here until a loan was satisfactorily completed and the interest rate and other FTA required information had not been supplied to her.
Does she have any recourse and do you think this will stand up in court?
I'm not sure if she does or not, but I also have my doubts that it will stand up in court. One thing that she should most definitely do is to go down to the court house and file an answer to the court and demand a jury trial. Doing that will stop the judgement cold in it's tracks and escalate it into a full blown hearing before a jury. That's going to cost the dude a lot more money and ruin any chances he has for a quick and easy kill. It's unlikely that he will be happy about having to face her in a court of law and before a jury.
She can appear as a pro se litigant, but I would advise her against doing that unless she has very competent help in preparing her defense. If she cannot obtain the kind of help she needs to do it pro-se then she had best hire her a competent attorney to go into court and defend her.
Another consideration in determining the need for an attorney is whether or not she is the type of person who is a good public speaker. Can she stand up and argue her points or is she too much the "mousey" type who does not do well in public settings? If so, then she would be ill advised indeed to go into court pro-se.
Once he finds out that he has a much bigger fight on his hands than he bargained for he may very well dismiss the case, especially if the costs might well run him as much or more than he might hope to gain.
No matter how you look at it, she needs competent assistance.
A judgement on her personal reports would put her business
in jeopardy, but the jerk doesn't deserve a darn cent. I think he is trying to scare and hopes
she offers a settlement before the court case arrives.
Tell her to get a lawyer, FIRST!. If possible counter sue for attorney fees, etc. The guy violated truth in lending laws among other things. If she didn't sign her name on any contract, the guy doesn't have a leg to stand on in court. These type of people prey on people that don't know their rights or are afraid to contest. Fight back.
She should especially follow your advice about checking this guy out real good and see who else is complaining about him and what kind of reputation he has. They are going to need all the info they can get. One thing that is almost for certain is that her friend is not likely to be the first this guy has done this to.
She can also go to the county clerk and county records departments and ask to see any and all actions filed by and against this person and she should see real quick what this character's history has been for maybe several years back if she is lucky.
She can also find that information on line if she is lucky.
She should go to the website for the state supreme court in the state she lives in and she can get all that information on line in most states. I know we can here in Oklahoma because I just got done pulling a similiar report on a dude last week.
Again, good show, LKH
The guy violated truth in lending laws among other things.
Would you mind explaining how it is that he violated FTC law, Truth in Lending Act, if he loaned her nothing at all?
If she didn't sign her name on any contract, the guy doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.
She didn't have to sign anything to end up oweing him money. The mere fact that she went to his office and solicited his services enables him to claim that she owes him money. No contract is necessary. He can sue and if she does not make timely answer to his suit then he wins
That is why I advised her to go immediately to the court house and enlist the aid of the court clerk to file an answer immediately demanding trial by jury. THEN AND ONLY THEN go out and find her competent counsel to defend her.
Most courts have a deadline in which an answer must be filed and if she fails to get in under that deadline she may not be able to present a defense before the court. Two weeks is mighty little time and there exists the possibility that she may already be too late. Finding an attorney and getting him to make the answer to the court may already be too late.
Even if she already has an attorney she knows well and attempts to go get him to handle the case, he may not be available either by phone or he may not be able to handle the case at the moment, anything can go wrong while she loses the chance to respond.
This is an emergency situation and she has to act fast or possibly lose the chance to respond and may in fact have already done so. She has no time to fiddle around.
She needs to go find out directly from the court clerk what her options are and how long she has to exercise them and she needs to do that in the morning without fail. If the clerk of the court tells her she has plenty of time, then fine. Go find the lawyer first. If not, then file something even if it's wrong or she loses without a chance to fight.
Advising her to go get a lawyer FIRST could cost her her opportunity to fight back in this particular instance.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys came up with some great ideas that I did not even think of. I help her at her shop on Saturdays so we will come up with some kind of strategy today. I'm definitely going by the court house and call the Real Estate Board and see if there is anything on this guy and his business. Monday she's going to contact the court and see what time enables her to do. Thank you so much.
Check with the BBB here on line too.
You won't get a fast answer out of them but if you end up with a court date on down the line, it might get to you in time.
In addition to seeing a lawyer, she should go to whoever regulates the mortgage brokers in her state. Normally she is entitled to copies of everything she signed, a good faith estimate, etc.
If there are violations, she could get his license revoked. If you are in Florida, let me know and I can get you in touch with the right person.
Ok, I'm confused.
WHAT is he billing you for???
Did you actually receive ANYTHING from him? like an inspection or something?
And, if it's over 500, it has to be in writing or it violates the statute of frauds.
And, if it involves you actual real estate then it HAS to be in writing or it won't hold up.
Whatever he's billing you for, in whatever capacity... go after that professional license.
eg: if it's as a broker, go after him as such. if it's as an appraiser??? then go after that.
Try to hit him where it hurts. Call the atty general. I think he's acting in a predatory manner...
I also think if he shows up to court with no contract whatsoever and says he owes you money... as long as you show up then you'd be ok.
this is odd. I bet he's hoping to get a default judgment or a settlement. Likely does this all the time.
Hey, look his name on the dockets and see how many times he's done this before. If there's a pattern the atty general will DEFINITELY look into it and it'd help you too.
thinking about this... I'd say Look at her application. Does it have a clause for services performed even if the loan doesn't close???
maybe this is how he really makes his money...
then he doesn't have to really do a thing. Take an application. STall. charge. Nice racket.
See if he has a
complaints w/atty general (file one)
check any agency that regulates him and file a complaint. be aggressive right back!
You then become HIS worst nightmare!!!!!!
are there any other cases in the state (dismissed?) against other unsuspecting people. bet there are.
If all else fails, get your local consumer group/ reporter in on it. He may just need the bad publicity. Consider it a public good to expose they guy if he's scamming people and then trying to use the court system to extort money out of people...
bbauer, I know it does no good to debate with you since you are a senior and set in your ways of "how the law" works, but I will make a brief response then ignore like so many other people do with you.
Your remark that she went to his office and solicited his services gives him the right to claim she owes him is partially true. He can "CLAIM" anything he likes. "Claiming" and "proving" are two different things. I could "claim" you owe me money for responding to your multitude of senseless opinions and wasting my time doing so, but I could not "prove" the obligation to a court.
He can "claim" anything he wants, but it won't hold up in court with nothing in writing with "her word" vs. "his word".
Thankfully, you are not a judge.
Your remark that she went to his office and solicited his services gives him the right to
claim she owes him is partially true. He can "CLAIM" anything he likes. "Claiming" and
"proving" are two different things. I could "claim" you owe me money for responding to
your multitude of senseless opinions and wasting my time doing so, but I could not
"prove" the obligation to a court.
He can "claim" anything he wants, but it won't hold up in court with nothing in writing with "her word" vs. "his word".
Mike, if you think that nothing will hold up in court unless it is in writing, just go down to the local Wal-mart or any other store and walk out with whatever turns your crank and see if they don't make their claim that you owe them money stick in court.
If you think that nothing will hold up in court unless it is writing, just fail to pay your rent and see how well your theory holds up in court.
If you think that nothing will hold up in court unless it is in writing, just go up to the nearest self service gas pump and drive off without paying. See if that theory of mine you think is so crazy won't hold up in court.
If you think that nothing will hold up in court unless it is in writing, just call up a house painter and tell him to paint your house and then tell your story to the judge when the painter hauls you into court. Tell the judge he don't have anything in writing so you don't have to pay him.
If you think you know so much, just call up some dude that mows lawns and then tell him he don't have a contract and so he can't collect. Tell that to the judge if the guy sues you for cutting your lawn and you don't pay him.
If you think I'm so damned dumb and full of crackpot ideas, then you ought to be living the life of Riley beating people out of everything you can simply because you can con them into doing something and then claiming they don't have it in writing so it's your word against theirs.
Yeah, I know. You are a nice guy who has better morals than to do that. That's fine and of course, we all understand that you have better morals than to do things like that. We are quite willing to accept that. I'm not accusing you of being a thief by the examples I used
But when you say that word of mouth isn't good enough to force someone to pay, either in or out of court, then I do think you have something to learn.
Judgements are not all that hard to get if the other party does not show up and argue about it. If they do show up and deny the claim then the cheese gets far more binding.
Your post indicates that you might not have been thinking all that well
We shall soon see how long you keep your ignore button on too.
I think an attorney or a good arbitrator would be able to work this situation out to the satisfaction of both parties.
Personally, I would file a countersuit with my response for his failure to perform the services he indicated he would provide - i.e. finding a loan without a cosigner.
Since this seems to be a great deal of one persons word against another, it would make your claim just as valid as his.
I think Hal and quite a few others are correct.
The important thing here is not whether he can or cannot get a judgement but to be sure that he does not.
If a dispute does not arise to his claim, then he very well may be able to get a judgement.
Often it depends on a lot of factors other than whether or not he can produce any proof.
Sometimes, especially in smaller cities, he may be a friend of the judge and the judge might therefore grant him far greater leeway in getting his judgements.
One just should not take chances with these kinds of things for the simple reason that a judgement can be much like a gun pointed at your head. You never know if the thing is loaded or not and you never know whether or not the person would actually pull the trigger.
You just have to do what you have to do to make sure it don't go off.
Sounds like a scoundrel who probably don't have a lincense?
That's what I was thinking. I was looking in the yellow pages trying to find his ad. The majority of brokers had for an example, members of the NFIB, NAMB, etc. or licensed by blah, blah, blah. His had nothing. I did try the BBBs web site and could not find anything on him, but it is a very small town and is very unlikely many will report him. Monday, I'm going by the courthouse to see if this is a one time thing or he does this consistently. My friend is going to contact the Virginia Assoc. of Mortgage Brokers and VA Supreme Court. She is also going to report him to the BBB and Virginia's Office of Consumer Affairs. I called several other mortgage companies today to ask what was involved in getting a commerical loan and he didn't do anything of what these other brokers considered to be standard. I just hope we find something soon. I really hate it when scummy people win. Again, thank you for everyone's great advice.