Just Because A Website Claims To Be A Foreclosure Advocacy Site Does Not Mean It’s Looking Out For You
I often get asked what I think about the foreclosure advocacy that has sprung up in recent years. I have to constantly warn people to be careful because although most of them have a “.org” domain, it does not mean they are really a non-profit.
Many of these foreclosure activists aren’t activists at all but profiteers who want to capitalize on the housing crisis. In full disclosure, MFI-Miami does own several .org domains. However, this is done to protect the name of this company from imitators.
Loansafe.org and Loanworkout.org
Moe Bedard, the former “owner” of the illegally ran Loansafe Solutions is a perfect example. He has two websites, www.loansafe.org and www.loanworkout.org. Both of these sites give the impression they are foreclosure advocacy sites and Bedard claims he’s “paying it forward.”
He’s not. He is selling the names and emails of the people coming to the site for help to blood-sucking real estate investors. Investors want to pick up real estate for pennies on the dollar. He even bragged about his business model on the website Wicked Fire in May of 2007 soon after leaving prison:
“Interesting thought tho – bear with me – created a website aka Loansafe – bring folks there that are losing their homes/loan mods/ ect – make it a public forum – pay it forward – help your neighbor – screw you sister – ect -hence – investors will pay huge finders fees – i just had a brain fart ya know –“
Thanks, Ajay! I don’t know about down under but here in the states, the RE market is taking a dive. So what does a smart marketer do? Monetize people who need my help. The market is headed south so whats the next big thing? Foreclosures and Bankruptcies. So get your shit ready for the US revolution and monetize the poor saps who bought a house they cant afford with loans they should never have been in.
He later writes:
Moe made headlines two and half years ago when he posted an email a homeowner sent him from Angelo Mozilo. Mozilo is the former head of Countrywide. Mozilo basically called the homeowner a deadbeat.
Moe then chastised Mozilo in the blogosphere. Well, it appears Moe has the same utter contempt for homeowners as Angelo Mozilo. Here are a couple of emails Moe has sent homeowners who were active bloggers on his websites:
Get a life woman. We all get what we deserve in life and it looks like you have got exactly what you have deserved throughout yours. Good luck, you need it!
From: Moe Bedard <email@example.com>
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2010, 7:00 PM
LOL…. Pathetic, old, lonely woman, that IS your mirror. Go f*** Your STUPID Dr. self!
Carol Asbury and 4closurefraud.org
www.4closurefraud.org in Florida is another site that portrays itself as a foreclosure advocacy site and actually goes as far as to solicit donations on multiple spots on its front page.
However, this site is actually a marketing tool for the Save My Home Law Group ran by Attorney Carol Asbury.
Michael Redman, who claims to be the founder of the site is actually a former Toyota car salesman. The site is clearly used to promote Ms. Asbury’s law firm and her political agenda.
ICANN registry says the owner is Domains By Proxy. Yet, the website has been listed on Carol Asbury’s business cards prior to Mr. Redman’s involvement. It is also listed in the Florida Bar as her firm’s website. Carol Asbury met Michael Redman at one of Garfield’s seminars and offered him a job as a researcher.
As a former Assistant Attorney General, Carol Asbury should know soliciting donations without being a licensed non-profit in the state of Florida is illegal under these Florida statutes, Florida Statute 496.404, Florida Statute 496.405, Florida Statute 496.415 and Florida Statute 496.416 and Florida Statute 496.417
Carol Asbury’s Unholy Retainer
Foreclosure advocacy obviously isn’t what Carol Asbury is about. Asbury’s firm charges a non-refundable retainer of $10,000 and up to a 45% contingency fee:
- In consideration of the above services rendered and to be rendered by the Attorney, Client hereby agrees to pay to the Attorney a fee for professional services rendered as follows:
A FIXED NON-REFUNDABLE FEE OF $10,100 TO BE PAID OUT OVER A 24 MONTH PERIOD AS FOLLOWS: $500.00 UPON SIGNING THIS RETAINER AGREEMENT AND $400.00 PER MONTH FOR 24 MONTHS plus the contingency fee set forth below.
The fixed rate fee, which is part of this agreement, is non-refundable and is not contingent on the outcome of any legal matter, legal counsel, or legal representation. The monthly fixed rate fee of $400.00 shall be received by Attorney each and every month on the 1st day of the month corresponding to the execution of this Fee Agreement. The attorney may withdraw from further representation if the Client fails to make a timely payment of the agreed fixed rate fee.
Contingency Fee: In addition to the fixed non-refundable fee, the Attorney shall receive, for the legal services to be provided, under this agreement the following:
25% of the net recovery if the recovery is obtained before the filing of a lawsuit
34% of the net recovery after the filing of a lawsuit
45% of the net recovery if the Bank/Lender files an appeal from a court judgment, where the Attorney must file a Client Answer Brief and defend the Respondent Client
Net recovery means the amount remaining after the total amount received (whether by settlement, arbitration award, court judgment, total amount of any reduction in the mortgage note, or total amount of the Note should the Note and mortgage be eliminated) has been reduced by the sum of all “costs,” as defined in this agreement.
The thirty-four percent (34%) is based on the face value of the mortgage note less any reduction (principal reduction) in that value received as part of any settlement or court judgment or arbitration award, plus any award of damages, whether compensatory, actual, punitive or otherwise. For example, if a $300,000 Note is reduced to $200,000, then the attorney fee is 34% of $100,000 plus 34% of any compensatory, punitive or actual damages. But if the $300,000 mortgage is totally rescinded, then the attorney fee is 34% of $300,000 plus 34% of any award of compensatory, punitive or actual damages. A reduction or rescission of the Mortgage Note is considered a lump-sum payment.
This means on a $100,000 settlement, she is collecting $35,000 in attorney fees without even stepping into a courtroom and $44,100 if she files a case. This is hardly foreclosure advocacy.
These fees even without the contingency fees are still extremely high considering the going rate for foreclosure defense in Florida is under $5000.
4closurefraud has a tendency to pass along bad information. They also tend to dwell on Captain Ahab style revenge fantasies against banks. Take this and couple it with their Weekly World News style information gathering and you have a dangerous combination.
Asbury And Her Foreclosure Advocacy Posse Smear a Judge
In May, Asbury became upset that Palm Beach County Judge Meenu Sasser was consistently ruling against her and other foreclosure advocacy activists.
Asbury and Redman did a Glenn Beck style stunt and posted the contents of Judge Sasser’s mutual fund on their site. They want to show Judge Sasser unfairly ruled against homeowners because it would hurt her mutual fund.
Asbury and Redman began claiming every judge in Palm Beach County was corrupt
NEWSFLASH! The majority of pension funds, IRAs and mutual funds have investments tied directly or indirectly to banks.
Redman continually posts Chicken Little “calls to action” based on rumors or bad information. Several weeks ago, he decided to play constitutional scholar and proclaimed President Obama’s pocket veto of the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 was unconstitutional because Harry Reid had not adjourned the US Senate.
I don’t know if he got this information from piecing together sugar packets and kid’s menus from Denny’s but the posting got a lot of people worked up into a pretty big frenzy over what was inaccurate information.
Reality doesn’t seem to faze Asbury or Redman. Articles based on hysterics like those mentioned above easily play to their audience. An audience that is ignorant of the ways things work. Their emotions are running high and are easily susceptible to manipulation. This makes it easy to get cash-strapped clients to shell out what little money they have left.
The reality is there is no mass conspiracy between the Florida judicial system and the banks. The Banking Boogey Man is not hiding under the bed or lurking in the closet.
Foreclosure advocacy lawyers argue these crazy theories because they can’t compete with the attorneys who are winning.
Foreclosure Advocacy Groups Vs. MFI-Miami
Foreclosure Activists will say, “What’s the difference between what they do and what you do?”
The big difference is I don’t pretend to be a non-profit. I am a For-Profit Enterprise. I make no excuses for it nor do I attempt to paint myself as something I’m not. My clients pay me for a service that is based on over a decade of experience in lending.
There is also another huge difference. The only experience most foreclosure advocates have is a 5 hour Neil Garfield seminar. Through the magic of their ego, they believe they are an expert in finance and constitutional law.
I am an expert because I worked in the system for 10 years prior to forming MFI-Miami. I know how the system works because I lived it. MFI-Miami also has access to better and more reliable sources I can call as experts. It is highly unlikely any foreclosure advocacy groups have ever read Dune by Frank Herbert. There is a quote from Paul Atreides that says::
“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.”
This is a huge reason why my clients and the attorneys I work with are successful at bringing lenders to the table. We aren’t succumbing to histrionics and writing posts crying about rocket docket judge or judicial conspiracies. We worked in the system and understand how it works. This is why my clients are successful.