Monday, November 07, 2016

Closing Lawyer Who Allegedly Stole Nearly $60K In Escrow Funds Intended To Pay Off Existing Mortgage, Then Allowed Client To Subsequently Lose Home To Foreclosure Submits Resignation From Bar In Lieu Of Getting The Boot

From a post in a recent issue of the Texas Bar Journal:
  • On August 31, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted the resignation in lieu of discipline of Christopher J. Tome [#20117000], 65, of Cedar Park. At the time of Tome’s resignation, a disciplinary matter was pending against him.

    Tome was hired to handle the purchase of property on behalf of the complainant. Tome was given $72,000 to place in escrow, $12,000 of which was to go to the seller and the balance was to be used to pay off the existing mortgage and to cover Tome’s legal fees.

    Tome did not pay off the existing mortgage. Later, foreclosure proceedings were initiated against the seller, wherein the bank effectively sought to evict the complainant from his home. The complainant notified Tome of the legal action against the seller. Tome filed an application for temporary restraining order and was granted the same by the court.

    Thereafter, despite being noticed for various hearings in the foreclosure case, Tome performed no further legal work and failed to respond to the complainant’s repeated attempts to communicate with him about the status of the case. The home was foreclosed upon and the complainant had to move out of the home. Tome further failed to furnish a written response to the complaint as directed.
Source: Disciplinary Actions - Texas Bar Journal, October, 2016, pg.714.
(1) The Client Security Fund of the State Bar of Texas was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to a theft of their money, or a refusal to refund an unearned fee, by a Texas attorney.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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