California Bar Journal
CBJ - November 2009 #02.
More lawyers in trouble for foreclosure activities
California Bar JournalNovember 2009More lawyers in trouble for foreclosure activitiesBy Nancy McCarthyStaff Writer
The State Bar's loan modification task force obtained the resignations of three more California attorneys as a result of misconduct related to their loan modification activities. It also placed another attorney on inactive status, charging his work poses a substantial threat to the public, and has undertaken similar efforts against two other lawyers.
In addition, JAMES PARSA [#153389], a southern California lawyer who advertised his loan modification work on television throughout the state, resigned Oct. 21. He faced interim suspension from practice as a result of a 2001 misdemeanor conviction for sex with a child under 18 that he never reported to the bar.
Parsa, 44, advertised heavily throughout California for the past several months, offering to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Although he provided evidence to the bar that he was in fact working on cases, an investigator uncovered two 2001 misdemeanor convictions for sex with an underage girl. The bar court ordered that Parsa be placed on interim suspension Oct. 16, but his resignation made the suspension moot.
The State Bar created a 10-person loan modification task force in March after receiving thousands of calls from homeowners complaining that lawyers have done no work after taking fees purportedly to help avoid foreclosure. The task force had 738 active investigations underway last month.
It earlier released the names of 16 attorneys it was investigating for possible misconduct related to loan modification. Four of the six who resigned or face inactive enrollment were on that list.
"We are very pleased that we have been able to remove these practitioners from the practice of law quickly in order to protect the public," said Interim Chief Trial Counsel Russell Weiner.
Until last month, attorneys were able to legally accept advance fees from borrowers for residential loan modification work and other forms of mortgage loan forbearance services. Lawyers' services were in demand by foreclosure relief companies and operators that could not otherwise receive payment until contracted or promised loan modification work was completed. However, on...