Broward County Judicial Candidate Leonore Greller Faces Scrutiny Over Past Ties To Loan Modification Scam
The story begins in 2009 when I operated a sister website for MFI-Miami named MFI-Mod Squad. MFI-Mod Squad was nothing more than a blog that exposed scam loan modification companies that popped up in the wake of the financial crisis. The site soon became one of the most popular financial blogs on the web. Finance journalists and celebrities read my articles. Former cast members of the Aaron Spelling TV show, Mod Squad that inspired the name, even became fans.
MFI-Mod Squad blogs were responsible for the Federal Trade Commission passing what is known as the MARS rule. The MARS rule bars loan modification companies from charging an upfront fee for debt relief services. The enactment of the MARS rule shut down nearly 90% of the loan modification companies operating in 2009. In 2011, I shut the website down. After all, mission accomplished.
Leonore Greller And Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House
One of the scam modification companies I exposed was Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House run by a guy named Jacques Beckerman. The company operated out south Florida and promoted Greller as their in-house legal counsel with decades of consumer litigation experience.
Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House appeared on my radar in the spring of 2009. Hundreds of homeowners from around the US were calling me telling stories of how they paid thousands of dollars to Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House. After collecting the money Beckerman and his management team stopped returning phone calls.
I began researching the company and their trail of broken promises in early spring of 2009. I soon learned Beckerman left out two key pieces of information with his sales pitches and on his website. He was violating Florida Statute 701.1377. Florida law requires loan modification companies to be properly licensed and Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House was not.
Was Leonore Greller Practicing Law Without A License Outside New York?
Leonore Greller was also not a licensed to practice law in Florida at the time. She was properly licensed to practice law in New York. Yet, it appeared she had resided in Coconut Creek, Florida since the late 1990s.
Nearly 99% of Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House customers were located outside New York state.
Leonore Greller could not have legally represented them as an attorney. Yet, one of the forms Beckerman had customers sign was a retainer agreement engaging the legal services of Leonore Greller.
I began posting blogs warnings about the company and Greller. That is when I sent out a press release.
The press release put Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House on the radar of several states AGs. I soon received a call from former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office requesting copies of my research.
Within weeks, Beckerman disappeared to Long Island to sell cars. The Florida Fraud Task Force raided Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House and officially shut them down. The Task Force did not give Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House a clean bill of health as Greller claims on her website.
Leonore Greller And Her Involvement With Jacques Beckerman Raises Ethical Questions
Leonore Greller’s political resume claims that she was a licensed mortgage broker during her time working with Beckerman. However, Beckerman was not.
It was and still is illegal for him to have piggybacked off her license. So whichever way Greller wants to spin her innocence is nonsense. Her additional claims could also put her legal career in greater jeopardy.
What was the financial arrangement between Jacques Beckerman and Leonore Greller? That’s a question for Greller to answer and one that she is likely to dodge.
The only way for Leonore Greller to pay Beckerman or Beckermann to pay Greller in 2009 would have been with some type of an illegal fee-splitting arrangement. Fee-splitting for mortgage brokers is illegal just like is for attorneys. Section 8 of RESPA clearly specifies this.
Greller also could not legally engage in modification negotiations in states where she did not hold a Broker’s license or a law license. Yet, it appears that is exactly what she did.
Leonore Greller also faces questions of unlicensed practice of law. Although she has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2010, she was not a member in 2009. Nor was she a member the state bar associations of the vast majority of states Mortgage Mitigation Clearing House solicited customers in.