Wednesday, January 12, 2010
Hearing Today on State Bar’s Shutdown of Loan Business
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A hearing is scheduled today in the Orange Superior Court for two men whose loan modification business was shut down by the State Bar and the court for falsely claiming the business was supervised by attorneys.
Curtis Melone and Christopher Fox—who operated under business names such as Guardian Credit Services, Green Credit Solutions, Green Credit Services, Erickson Law Group, Green Credit Law and PacWest Funding—must show why a Dec. 21 shutdown order should not be made permanent, a State Bar spokesperson said.
The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Department 31, the spokesperson said.
The State Bar says Fox, 35, of Redondo Beach and Melone, 35, of Huntington Beach, promised homeowners facing foreclosure that they could help with loan modifications. Instead, the organization claims, the pair did nothing to help clients while also misleading them to believe that services would be performed or supervised by an attorney.
The State Bar is empowered to take over the businesses of non-lawyers who portray themselves as attorneys. The group worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Department of Real Estate and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to seize client files, terminate phone and computer services, and post notice to clients and the public about last month’s closure.
Since last March, the State Bar has “aggressively sought to stop loan modification fraud by lawyers and to shut down the offices of people offering foreclosure services who represent themselves as lawyers,” the spokesperson said.
It also has secured the resignations of 13 attorneys to date as a result of investigations by its Task Force on Loan Modification, and has shut down six businesses, the spokesperson said.
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