We’ve said previously how disturbing it is to see allegations that homeowners who’d faced the loss of their houses had been socked with allegedly inflated fees by foreclosure lawyers.
Attorney General John Suthers is still investigating the law firms that have charged those fees, but now The Denver Post’s David Migoya has uncovered what appears to be another wrong suffered by homeowners during an extraordinarily trying time. Migoya reported recently that lawyers are charging homeowners hundreds of dollars in fees to head off “phantom” foreclosure cases that were never actually filed in court.
Migoya’s reporting identified 126 such cases since January 2012 in which homeowners in 11 counties were told by county public trustees to pay the charges or face losing their homes.
The practice has been going on since at least 2006, so the number could be much higher.
Take the example of Harold Mildenstein, a 78-year-old former satellite-TV repairman, who paid $6,148 in fees to the Jefferson County public trustee, a sum that included a $200 fee for a foreclosure lawsuit that was never filed. He also had to pay a $125 fee to cover the legal posting by process servers of the phantom suit.
The $325 in costs may not seem like much, Mildenstein told Migoya, “but I just lost my job this morning, and it’s pretty important to me now.”
Under state law, public trustees, who oversee the state’s foreclosure process, cannot challenge the costs that foreclosure lawyers assert.
Read more: “Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/realestatenews/ci_23921463/phantom-foreclosure-cases-colorado-need-close-look#ixzz2cxIe8kqW