Consumer Litigation Law Center Obtains Large Settlement for Client in Broker Negligence and Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Consumer Litigation Law Center (“CLLC”) recently obtained a cumulative $418,000 settlement from buyer’s and seller’s real estate brokers in a broker negligence and breach of fiduciary duty case involving the sale of real property with a seller carry-back loan and business profit participation as further incentives.

Following the sale of the property, the buyers did not make a single payment on the carry back financing loan from the sellers or a single payment from the agreement to share in profits generated by the buyers at the property.

CLLC’s aggressive advocacy and thorough knowledge of the law and facts at issue led to a substantial settlement with the real estate brokers on both sides of the transaction shortly after filling suit. This settlement was the second largest settlement reached in this type of case for the presiding mediator and one of the largest paid out by the broker’s insurer.

With a thorough knowledge of real estate law coupled with an aggressive and creative approach to litigation, CLLC represents residential and commercial buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to achieve outstanding results in litigation and often without even filing suit due to CLLC’s excellence in preparing cases for trial from the beginning of representation.

Consumer Litigation Law Center Wins Judgment for Deceived Homeowner to Quiet Title Against False Title Claim

During the foreclosure crisis from about 2008 through 2016, many homeowners were approached by “scam artists” who promised guaranteed techniques to stop foreclosure on the owner’s home. Homeowners who fell victim to these scams would then find out years later that these so-called foreclosure prevention companies transferred title to the homeowners’ property to completely unknown persons and entities like trusts.

As we moved out of the Great Recession, property values and interest rates began to rise and homeowners who were once in foreclosure were now secure in their home, but wanted to re-finance quickly before a sharp rise in interest rates. However, homeowners found that they could not re-finance because the foreclosure prevention scams from years ago created a cloud on title that prevented the homeowner from refinancing their mortgage later. With unknown, recorded documents on title, these homeowners cannot re-finance or obtain a title insurance policy without first restoring title into their own name.

The process of “cleaning up” title to reflect only those true and correct interests in the title to property is accomplished through a lawsuit known as a “quiet title action”.

Consumer Litigation Law Center (“CLLC”) recently represented homeowners who were victimized by a company that promised to save the home by transferring title to a living trust with a number of unknown persons as trustees of this trust. While trying to refinance, the homeowners quickly learned that no lender, title insurance company, or escrow company would work with them until the homeowner obtained an order quieting title from a Court. Left with no other option than a lawsuit, the homeowners contacted CLLC to clear up these “clouds” on title.

CLLC ultimately took the case to trial and prevailed on behalf of the homeowners to restore title and ownership to the property back to the homeowners’ names so that they could refinance the property into a favorable interest rate.

If you are aware of or suspect that there are false claims or “clouds” on the title to your real property preventing you from re-financing, selling, obtaining a second mortgage or home equity line of credit, or taking other action in regard to your property, CLLC can assist you with a quiet title lawsuit to restore title to your name.

Victory For Dog Bite Victim

Jeffrey OgorekConsumer Litigation Law Center is pleased to announce a victory for the family of a little girl who was bitten in the face and other parts of her body by a pit bull. Our own Attorney, Jeffrey Ogorek worked diligently to secure a judgement for the poor family of over $400,000; money that will go towards their numerous medical bills and possible reconstructive surgery.

According to the California Civil Code, “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog.”

If you or a family member has been the victim of a dog bite, please contact us immediately for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.

New Location!

Consumer Litigation Law Center ('CLLC') is pleased to announce its move to a location more convenient to service its clients. CLLC is moving downstairs, in the same office location, to Suite 140. This move will allow all clients easy and immediate access to all of CLLC’s services. Please come see us today at our new location, 130 S. Chaparral Court, Suite 140, Anaheim, CA 92808. Call us today if you need assistance preventing Foreclosure on your home, with any Real Estate Litigation or Transactional needs, or with Student Loan issues.

Dramatic Victory Over Wells Fargo Bank

Within the last week, Consumer Litigation Law Center prevailed in court in dramatic fashion against corporate behemoth Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. by obtaining a judge’s order preventing the bank from proceeding with an unlawful foreclosure sale of our clients’ home.

Our clients, an elderly couple who were in desperation to stop the imminent sale of their home, sought our legal representation to stand in the way of Wells Fargo’s callous and unlawful march toward foreclosure with a mere few days remaining until the scheduled sale date. Despite the fact that our clients had been seeking reasonable alternatives to foreclosure by submitting to Wells Fargo a loan modification application which evidenced a significant change in their financial circumstances, Wells Fargo blatantly disregarded their good-faith application and refused to postpone or cancel the pending sale.

With a mere few days left before the sale, Consumer Litigation Law Center immediately filed a lawsuit against the bank and also filed an ex parte application for a Temporary Restraining Order to be heard in front of the judge on the very morning in which the sale was set to take place. After reviewing our motion and after hearing arguments, the judge granted our motion and ordered Wells Fargo to halt the foreclosure sale, saving our clients home with only an hour remaining before the scheduled sale.

Through motion and argument, we made the case that under the Homeowner Bill of Rights, California Civil Code section 2923.6(g) provides that the mortgage servicer cannot proceed with foreclosure while a borrower is in loan modification review with a complete loan modification application submitted. But, the loan servicer shall not be obligated to evaluate applications from borrowers who have already been evaluated or afforded a fair opportunity to be evaluated for a first lien loan modification unless there has been a material change in the borrower’s financial circumstances since the date of the borrower’s previous application and that change is documented by the borrower and submitted to the mortgage servicer. Given that our clients had already provided Wells Fargo with a loan modification application evidencing a material change in their financial circumstances, the judge agreed that Wells Fargo’s attempt to sell the property was unlawful and in direct violation of California statutory law.

While Consumer Litigation Law Center has achieved hundreds of similar successes against all major banking institutions, this victory was particularly dramatic given the blatant statutory violations by Wells Fargo and the literal ticking clock that we were up against.

Bank Negligence

Until very recently, borrowers had no way to hold banks accountable for their most common complaint - lost documents, missing documents, losing the same documents over and over, and failing to communicate with borrowers. This common fact pattern is called negligence and applies to a variety of situations in different areas of the law, but did not apply in the loan modification review context because lenders owed no duty of care to borrowers. A claim for negligence requires that the defendant (in this case a lender or loan servicer): (1) owe a duty of care to the plaintiff (here, the borrower), (2) that the lender did not act with the required amount of care, and (3) that the lender's failure to exercise due care caused the borrower harm.

Previously, borrowers could not state claims for negligence against their lenders for errors and mistakes in loan modification review because the banks owed no duty of care to the borrower. Essentially, the banks could lose documents, ask for the same documents over and over, fail to communicate with the borrower, and provide misinformation without any consequences.

But in a case called Alvarez v BAC Home Loans Servicing LP decided in August 2014, a California court first held that a bank did owe a duty to review loan modifications with at least some level of care. Consumer Litigation Law Center pioneered applying this new law of due care in federal court in California for the first time. In Segura v Wells Fargo Bank NA, CLLC's attorneys successfully argued that the bank was negligent in failing to review our client's loan modification application with any degree of due care. Wells Fargo attempted to argue that it owed our client no duty of care whatsoever in the loan modification review process but the federal court sided with CLLC and its client by allowing the negligence claim to move forward.

CLLC's successful advocacy has opened up a new forum for homeowners' rights in federal court. In the past, banks would try to get borrowers' lawsuits out of state court and into federal court, thinking that federal court would be more favorable. But now, thanks to CLLC's zealous advocacy, thorough research, and innovative arguments, homeowners can now state claims for negligence in the loan modification review process for the first time in federal courts in California.