Notice from the Washington Attorney General’s Office: Beware of Loan Modification Scams Soliciting Washington Lawyers
From the Washington Attorney General’s Office:
The Washington Attorney General’s Office, the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, and other state agencies across the country, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, are conducting a mortgage rescue fraud sweep, taking legal action against companies who prey on homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure.
As part of the sweep, Attorney General Bob Ferguson wishes to alert Washington lawyers to problems that may arise from working with a for-profit loan modification or foreclosure rescue company as part of their practice.
Such companies are often located out of state and could be attempting an end run around state regulations and consumer protection laws by integrating Washington lawyers into their operation. These companies typically promise Washington borrowers that they can modify their loan, stop or postpone their foreclosure, or reduce their debt — usually for a hefty upfront fee. Not only do they typically not perform as promised, they also divert borrowers from meeting with state housing counselor to evaluate their options at no charge, see www.homeownership-wa.org/ and 877-894-HOME, or getting information about legal aid services at http://ocla.wa.gov/aboutOCLA.htm. Read more
The MP3 selection on my iPhone consists of the Frozen soundtrack (which I definitely only listen to with my 3-year-old daughter). I’m more of a podcast person – I think they’ve made me a better auditory learner. Certainly if I can learn about the Great London Smog with a podcast, I can build my legal knowledge with MP3 CLEs. And at 40% off all WSBA-CLE recorded seminars, now is a great time to start building my knowledge and earn some CLE credits.
The Washington Supreme Court, when it adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule, wrote of the need for this new profession due to the large gaps in accessing legal services for low-income and moderate means persons. Despite widespread recognition of this gap, the creation of the unprecedented LLLT has been met with skepticism by many attorneys. While the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) agrees wholeheartedly with the Washington Supreme Court on the need to provide a broad range of affordable legal services to low- and moderate-income populations, the experience of our communities in dealing with non-lawyers providing legal services gives us pause. Read more
As you may recall, the Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) rule in June 2012, which authorizes new legal professionals who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law. The LLLT Board began implementation of the rule in January 2013, and I want to provide an update on our progress.
We began the process of implementation by addressing the following parts of the process: define the scope of practice; develop an education program that teaches to the scope of practice; develop Rules of Professional Conduct; develop examinations that will test the competency of the applicants. Read more
This article was originally published by Justin P. Walsh on The Amateur Law Professor.
As attorneys, we receive calls to action more than the typical American. We’re called to look over rule changes both locally and statewide. We’re often called to help out friends politically. Many of us serve on boards and commissions where we routinely review mounds of paperwork and attempt to act in an organization’s best interests. Some of these calls we answer; many we ignore. I urge each and every one of you not to ignore the FCC’s proposed changes to its “Net Neutrality” rules. Read more