On Monday, December 22nd, two more foreclosure law firms have had lawsuits brought against them by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. The Attorney General has had an ongoing investigation into foreclosure firms operating in our state for the past two years.
In 2014, Attorney General Suthers filed eight civil law enforcement actions against Colorado foreclosure law firms, in which five have resulted in settlements totaling almost $12 million.
These two latest law firms are Robert J. Hopp & Associates and The Hopp Law Firm, and The Vaden Law Firm including its principals Robert Hopp, Wayne Vaden and affiliated title companies.
The Vaden Law Firm allegedly inflated foreclosure costs for court filings, titles and postings. Vaden is also accused of overcharging on title work for approximately 3,000 foreclosures. According to the lawsuit, Vaden charged between $400 and $800 in unlawful costs per foreclosure by making false, misleading and deceptive statements of costs. Both firms are accused of overcharging district court costs for filings known as Rule 120 hearings.
The Hopp Law Firm allegedly collected an average of $1,200 and $1,400 in insurance premiums for non-existent title insurance policies by ordering title products through their affiliated title company. The fraudulent costs were paid by homeowners, mortgage servicers, successful bidders, investors and insurers including those that are taxpayer-backed. Last year, Hopp filed for bankruptcy protection after closing his law office. He was later accused of additional wrongdoings while working for a new law firm.
Suthers issued a statement, “For abusing the foreclosure process for their own profit, eight Colorado foreclosure law firms have now been targets of investigation by my office. It is my hope that these actions will result in greater transparency and fairness in the legal processing of foreclosures.”
The state’s accusations against these eight law firms are similar to each other with inflated costs of court-ordered postings that are placed on the properties informing homeowners of foreclosure. The law firms, in most cases, created other companies, typically run by a close family member to do the posting work. Charges such as $150 for a service that should have cost $25 quickly added up to millions.
Earlier this year, Colorado’s two largest foreclosure firms, The Castle Law Group (Larry Castle) and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg (Robert Aronowitz, daughter Stacy and her husband Joe Mecklenburg) were the first firms to have lawsuits filed against them by Suthers. In a detailed 40-page lawsuit, Suthers alleges the two law firms raked in $100 million in fraudulent charges. Aronowitz and Mecklenburg quickly settled while the lawsuit against Castle is ongoing. Castle performed the vast majority of roughly 275,000 residential foreclosures in Colorado since 2006. In the lawsuit, Larry Castle also anonymously lobbied legislature to pass a second posting requirement after realizing the windfall in inflated prices for a first posting.
Suthers filed similar lawsuits against The Law Firm of Michael Medved, (Michael Medved and Tracie Castanon), Janeway Law Firm (Lynn Janeway) and Medved Dale Decker & Deere (Michael Medved, Toni Dale, Holly Decker and Heather Deere).
Attorney General John Suthers’ investigation into the practices of foreclosure law firms in Colorado is currently ongoing as well.
If your foreclosure was handled by one of the eight foreclosure law firms in Colorado that have been named in the lawsuits, you may need to contact a foreclosure defense attorney. Foreclosure defense attorney Keith Gantenbein is a premier foreclosure attorney, located in Denver and serving all of Colorado. Keith Gantenbein, of The Gantenbein Law Firm, Colorado foreclosure defense practice includes: Rule 120 Foreclosure Hearings, debt collection and FDCPA violations, mortgage negotiations, foreclosure settlements, post-foreclosure deficiencies, mortgage lawsuits, loan mods, post-foreclosure litigation, foreclosure prevention, foreclosure help in Denver, cash for keys, judicial foreclosure, HOA foreclosures, evictions, foreclosure settlement, foreclosure settlement, foreclosure assistance, Colorado foreclosure help, short sale assistance, foreclosure assistance, foreclosure set-aside, and all other foreclosure defense legal help.
The Gantenbein Law Firm can help secure a loan modification of your home. Gantenbein Law Firm is the only Colorado foreclosure defense law firm to have an in-house loan modification specialist. Our loan mod specialist- whose work experience includes SPS loan mod servicing- works with the attorney on your case to maximize your home retention options. Contact Gantenbein Law Firm for a one-hour consultation to discuss your foreclosure or post-foreclosure issues: 303-618-2122.
His real estate practice includes real estate litigation, landlord/tenant, affordable housing issues, contract and contract disputes, title issues, real estate contracts, quiet title actions, lien issues, evictions, real estate closings, land ender liability. Keith Gantenbein also practices HOA defense– including helping homeowners with defense against wrongful covenant enforcement, HOA lawsuits, foreclosures, and HOA liens.
Gantenbein Law Firm practice includes Colorado and Federal Tax Law, Colorado Foreclosure Defense, Colorado Real Estate Law, Colorado Business Law, Credit Dispute and Credit Repair, and Colorado Wills & Trusts. For more information, visit our website: www.gantenbeinlaw.com