Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pennsylvania lawyer sues foreclosure firm employees for unauthorized practice of law.

Many thanks to my friend in Pennsylvania for alerting me to this interesting state court case, Loughren v. Bair, where the employees of a foreclosure law firm are being sued for their alleged unauthorized practice of law.  Here is a copy of the complaint,  or here.  If you have access to the docket system for the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas, input the case reference GD-10-021437, and you will find the entire docket.

The Amended Complaint details the allegations of the Plaintiff, a Pennsylvania lawyer, against more than a dozen firm employees who are processing foreclosures.  Among the allegations is reference to deposition testimony in a federal lawsuit, Robinson v Countrywide, 08-cv-01563,where a law firm partner admitted during deposition that foreclosure complaints were processed and even signed without attorney oversight. The testimony is recited along with facsimiles of various lawyer signatures made by the non-lawyer firm employees.  The federal case is plodding through discovery, with a recent court order requiring disclosure of portions of attorney/client fee agreements to the Plaintiff.  Use PACER to access the full docket of the federal case, which is now plodding through discovery and motions.

The state court complaint goes on to allege that foreclosures filed by the law firm violate FHA regulations, primarily because there was no oversight or review to determine whether the regulations had been satisfied before filing.  The amended complaint also collects several citations to federal court cases where non-lawyer signatures on foreclosure documents are discussed.