TENANTS LEGAL CENTER
| ||CONSUMER WARNING AND INFORMATION|
Beware of groups targeting post foreclosure
occupants with mailed solicitations for "services"
How to spot signs of a foreclosure scam
(published by the San Diego Union Tribune 2/10/12)
If the foreclosure already occurred, you should get competent
Before hiring anyone to assist you, take some time to research
Is their letter a solicitation for services even though it looks official?
A licensed competent attorney's office should have the
Claims may be made in solicitations that are not accurate and are unrealistic.
THEY PROMISE MANY MONTHS IN THE PROPERTY FREE OF EVICTIONS - Under certain conditions, a bank or new owner can easily process an eviction in a much shorter time. Further, they are not providing experienced LEGAL assistance throughout the entire process after the eviction is commenced and an ANSWER is filed. They do not mention the potential high cost of delay tactics without adequate protection.
THEY PROMISE MANY MONTHS WITH NO RENT TO PAY - Under current Federal Law and California Law for tenants, there is no mention of free rent and former owners still in possession of the home could be asked to pay daily rent from the expiration of a 3 day notice to quit or the rent during the 90 days granted under Federal Law .
THEY SAY THE LACK OF IMMEDIATE ACTION WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE EVICTION - If you are a tenant protected under Federal law, and California law, you are entitled to a 90 day notice or even longer, depending on the lease. If you are an owner, even after the 3 days passes on a notice, you can use the court system for protection against a rapid and stressful eviction but it must be handled correctly to protect your rights and credit.
THEY GUARANTEE RESULTS - It is not responsible and appropriate to advertise that one can guarantee the results of complex legal action. Judges differ, jurisdictions differ and each case has its own unique factors. There may be different outcomes for what appears to be similar cases. Attorneys are bound by a law and ethical standards which prohibits advertising promising " Any guarantee or warranty regarding the outcome of a legal matter as a result of representation by the member." This is a confirmation that guarantees should be looked at with great suspicion.
THEY SAY USING AN "ANSWER" WILL GIVE YOU RELOCATION ASSISTANCE - The California Code of Civil Procedure governs the procedure of evictions but it does not contain all your rights in a foreclosure and accompanying eviction. There are MANY laws including other codes as well as case authorities which we rely on in protecting our clients. Check the Unlawful Detainer code sections yourself (The Unlawful Detainer codes generally begin at section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure) Search for words like relocation assistance or free rent or extra time. There are no such provisions. A skilled attorney may achieve significant benefits but that involves taking careful action and having a significant understanding of these complex codes as well as other laws, cases and the procedural rules. Merely filing a paper is not enough.
THEY CLAIM TO BE "LICENSED " AND/OR BONDED - These are generally what are called Unlawful Detainer document preparation assistants. They CANNOT practice law nor give ANY legal advice without the direct supervision of an attorney.
"(g) A legal document assistant may not provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms, or strategies..."
WHAT AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY CAN DO FOR YOU
Just waiting for an Unlawful Detainer and then merely filling out an ANSWER form without regard to the legal aspects of the situation can lead to disaster. What are your rights in that situation? Can you use the Federal Law and should you? Do you rely on State Law? Are you at risk for a claim for damages and from whom? What can you take from the property when you leave? Can you be arrested for theft? What happens if they ask for rent? Should you pay? What happens if you do not pay? Can you get the home back if you were the former owner? Can you rely on the lease if you were the tenant? Should your accountant be consulted for tax consequences? As you can see, there are many more issues than simply forgetting about these important matters and delaying a move out with potentially harmful advice. An experienced attorney who handles these matters will know these issues and determine what approach is recommended to protect you.
REMEMBER only an experienced attorney should handle such matters. You may lose very valuable rights and even be hit with a large judgment and be asked to pay thousands of dollars to the the bank or landlord'. You may be asked to use bankruptcy as a “delay” tool which could have penalty consequences if used merely for delay. You may be forced into bankruptcy to try and avoid the judgment and liability you invited on yourself for using ill advised tactics recommended by unqualified people. Merely filling out forms such as an ANSWER (to an eviction) and taking legal positions in court without specialized competent legal advice can most certainly put you at risk of serious financial and credit harm. Would you let a pharmacy store clerk choose your medication rather than a qualified doctor? Of course not.. It is no different with legal matters.
Tenants and former property owner should seek proper advice and protection from
At the Tenants Legal Center, there are attorneys experienced in property and tenants
California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney. The advice and recommendations regarding any other legal or nonlegal services offered to the public are based on the opinion of the Tenants Legal Center with the intent of providing important information of general and specific public interest.