I recently had occasion to observe a terribly sad sight in foreclosure court, one that has me urging everyone not to make the same mistake this homeowner did.
As I waited for my case to be called, I watched a pro se homeowner attended a bank’s summary judgment hearing. The homeowner explained to the court how he had retained an attorney from another state and paid that attorney $3,500 to get him a loan modification. However, that lawyer never appeared as counsel in the pending foreclosure lawsuit, never filed any papers on the homeowner’s behalf, and did not attend the hearing. By the time that hearing arrived, of course, the loan modification was nowhere to be found.
Obviously incredulous why a lawyer would collect $3,500 and not do anything, the judge asked this homeowner for more specific information. The homeowner explained that this law firm had been “recommended” on the Florida’s Hardest Hit website.
Everyone in the room, including the judge and yours truly, felt awful. This man tried to be diligent in protecting his interests. But he got screwed. His lawyer filed nothing on his behalf, and the homeowner presented no viable defenses to foreclosure, the judge begrudgingly entered the final judgment of foreclosure.
Folks, don’t make the same mistake this homeowner did. I don’t care how reputable a company looks on-line. I don’t care who recommends that lawyer or law firm. If that lawyer/firm does not practice law in the state where your property is located, they cannot help you!
Always, always, always make sure, if you’re retaining counsel to defend a foreclosure case, that said attorney is licensed to practice law in the state where your property is located. Otherwise, they cannot help you, and any money you’ll have paid them will have been flushed down the drain.