Friday, September 18, 2015

Spotlight Shined On West Coast Law Firm That's Represented At Least 4,000 Foreclosure-Facing Homeowners In A Dozen Mass Joinder Lawsuits, Yet Has Never Won A Single Case On The Merits

In Los Angeles, California, BloombergBusiness reports:
  • [C]asting itself as defending the little guys caught up in the subprime crisis, Brookstone [Law], founded by a 41-year old attorney named Vito Torchia Jr., has represented at least 4,000 clients in a dozen mass joinder lawsuits against big banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Court documents indicate Brookstone’s earnings during 2011 and 2012 could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Yet the firm has yet to win a single one of these cases on the merits.

    “I think, generally speaking, these mass joinder cases are a new twist on an old scene,” said California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat and former lawyer who chairs the state’s privacy and consumer protection committee and sits on its banking committee. After the financial crisis, a cottage industry cropped up offering relief to people with subprime loans. In many cases, however, these companies only subjected borrowers to a second round of abuse. “Somebody is in trouble, they get a call, and say ‘you’ll get relief if you sign onto our lawsuit.’ It’s a small price to pay to keep my biggest asset. But these are all just variations of fraud.”

    Is Brookstone the con that banks and former clients allege? Or is Torchia, already halted from practicing law by the California state bar, outmatched and getting smeared as he wages what he claims is a lonely, David-vs.-Goliath fight for homeowner rights?
For more, see Sue Your Bank, Keep Your Home, Repeat (Inside a deeply suspect mortgage-relief operation in L.A.).

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