An attorney who served as attorney-of-record in what has been characterized as 130 predatory lending lawsuits has had her license pulled after a California State Bar Court judge accused her of having no remorse in a foreclosure rescue scheme.
Bar Court Judge Lucy Armendariz heard the case against Sharon L. Lapin, 57, of Greenbrae. Lapin was a contract attorney for the firm known by various names as US Loan Auditors LLC, US Loan Auditors Inc., My US Legal Services and US Legal Services and was paid $177,000 ($350 per hour) for her services for the period August 2009 through November 2010.
Sacramento-based US Loan Auditors charged homeowners in foreclosure fees to conduct “forensic loan audits” that were supposed to be used to convince lenders to give the homeowners loan modifications. Although the company has since filed bankruptcy and its main web page says it has “closed its doors,” its blog is still live, claiming to have “real clients that love US Loan Auditors.”
State Bar spokeswoman Laura Ernde said that Lapin was “culpable of multiple counts of professional misconduct, including moral turpitude, aiding the unauthorized practice of law, sharing fees with a non-lawyer, participating in a non-legal lawyer referral service, failure to perform legal services with competence, failure to maintain only legal or just actions and failure to avoid representing adverse interests,” according to an article in the Mercury News.
For her part, Sharon Lapin denies the charges, said she is innocent and promises to appeal, saying she “never engaged in a scheme to defraud clients.”
Bar spokesperson Ernde said that since February 2009, the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel has been flooded with complaints against attorneys regarding loan modification fraud – 22 have been disbarred and 100 have received other disciplinary action.
Read the original article in the Mercury News, which contains the comments of Judge Armendariz regarding this hearing.
The California State Supreme Court still has to approve the disbarment action. You can read the documents filed with respect to this case by clicking on Sharon L. Lapin.