The Colorado Attorney General sued the state’s two largest foreclosure law firms today: The Castle Law Group and Aronowitz and Mecklenburg. The lawsuits allege violations of Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act, Anti-trust Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Attorney General investigators say the attorneys defrauded tens of thousands of homeowners, banks, investors and taxpayers. There are numerous illegal practices alleged in the 40-page lawsuit including collusion between the law firms to set prices on service fees and in some cases, charging fees for non-existent procedures.
The Castle Law Group and Aronowitz and Mecklenburg together have handled more than 150,000 foreclosures in the past 6-1/2 years overcharging what is believed to be an average of $650.00 per foreclosure, or upwards close to $100 million.
Attorney General John Suthers stated “These inflated costs were passed on to homeowners trying to save their homes from foreclosure, successful bidders for properties at foreclosure sales, and to investors (Banks) and taxpayers. The facts uncovered by our investigation are very disturbing and, frankly reflect poorly on the legal profession.”
Larry Castle, head of The Castle Law Group will likely fight in what may be a long battle in court from facts gathered by a two-year long investigation. Castle’s wife and partner, Caren Castle and their accountant Ryan O’Connell and Kathleen Benton who owns Absolute Posting & Process Services are also tied to the alleged scheme and are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.
There are two other companies tied to Castle: RE Records Research in Denver and Colorado American Title in Englewood.
Aronowitz and Mecklenburg, the law firm second in size to Castle, immediately agreed to pay $10 million to settle the case and will either sell or close its office which is based in Denver within the next six months. Owner Robert Aronowitz, his daughter Stacey and her husband Joe Mecklenburg made no admission to guilt in their settlement. Some of the $10 million will go towards reimbursing homeowners who were overcharged in foreclosures
The Aronowitz and Mecklenburg firm own a process service business, Xceleron, which will more than likely close soon.
The two law firms controlled more than 75% of Colorado’s foreclosure cases and funneled work to their servicing companies. The Attorney General uncovered emails between Caren Castle and Stacey Mecklenburg where the two collaborated on fixing a much higher price on certain services. In their largest money-maker, they colluded to charge $125 for a $25 service, pocketing a quick $100 from the backs of distressed homeowners losing their homes.
Read the full article on the Denver Post HERE
Keith A. Gantenbein, Jr. is a licensed, Colorado consumer rights attorney, focusing his practice as a foreclosure defense attorney and real estate attorney located in Denver and servicing all of Colorado. His foreclosure defense practice includes foreclosure prevention, judicial foreclosure, HOA foreclosures, foreclosure assistance, loan modifications, short sales, and all other foreclosure defense legal assistance. His real estate practice includes real estate closings, title issues, lien issues, quiet title, real estate contracts, bankruptcies, mortgage negotiations, lender liability, real estate, civil litigation, evictions, contracts and landlord/tenant. His real estate practice also focuses on his practice as an HOA defense attorney in Colorado, defending homeowners against HOA claims in HOA lawsuits and defense against wrongful covenant enforcement.
If you think you will be facing foreclosure, or are in the foreclosure process, or have had a wrongful foreclosure, contact Colorado foreclosure defense attorney Keith Gantenbein at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation, where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.
Gantenbein Law Firm practice includes Colorado Foreclosure Defense, Colorado Real Estate Law, Colorado and Federal Tax Law, Colorado Business Law, Credit Dispute and Credit Repair, and Colorado Wills & Trusts. For more information, visit our website: www.gantenbeinlaw.com
Gantenbein Law Firm also specializes in Federal and Colorado Tax Law. If you are facing an IRS tax audit, IRS tax appeal, tax litigation, or need help with an IRS installment plan or IRS offer in compromise, contact our Denver tax attorney immediately at 303-618-2122. Or, visit our Denver tax attorney website here