California Real Estate Fraud Report

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California AG Sues Law Firms, Others for Selling Lawsuits

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced today that her office has filed suit against three law firms, four attorneys and 14 businesses that had preyed on distressed borrowers trying to save their homes.

Now that California has cracked down on loan modification fraud by forbidding firms from charging upfront fees in exchange for helping borrowers, that type of real estate fraud is fading. According to Harris, the workaround scam is to get the victims to part with up to $10,000 in order to participate in “mass joinder” lawsuits against the banks.

Among the defendants are attorney Philip Kramer and his Calabasas-based law firm Kramer and Kaslow; Encino attorney Christopher Van Son; Paul Peterson and Costa Mesa based Mesa Law Group Corp; and Mitchell Stein and his law firm Mitchell J. Stein & Associates, based in Agoura Hills.

Kramer’s firm and has been placed into receivership. In addition, the California DOJ has seized the practices of the following non-attorney defendants:
Attorneys Processing Center, LLC; Data Management, LLC; Gary DiGirolamo; Bill Stephenson; Mitigation Professionals, LLC; Glen Reneau; Pate Marier & Associates, Inc.; James Pate; Ryan Marier; Home Retention Division; Michael Tapia; Lewis Marketing Corp.; Clarence Butt; and Thomas Phanco.

This is the first action taken by the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force to protect consumers.

Since this network of attorneys and businesses is alleged to have operated nationwide, other states have reports and investigations of their activities.  Read this report by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. The defendants have also been discussed in

Read more about this in the California Attorney General’s press release and Reuters.

© Copyright 2007-2018 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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