Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Indiana Lawyer Hit With 30-Day Suspension For Affiliation With Florida-Based Loan Modification, Foreclosure Defense Racket

The Indiana Lawyer reports:
  • A northern Indiana attorney who was involved in a Florida-based legal scheme that purported to assist clients in foreclosure and bankruptcy matters has been suspended from the practice of law for 30 days, the second of five Indiana attorneys involved with the Florida group to be disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court.

    The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission first filed a complaint against Huntington attorney Justin Wall in September 2015, alleging numerous violations stemming from his relationship with McCann Law Group, doing business as Consumer Attorney Services P.A., a Florida-based corporation that purported to offer bankruptcy, mortgage modification and foreclosure defense services.

    CAS advertised in Florida and other areas, including Indiana, and created contractual arrangements in which most client work was handled by central staff in Florida, with local counsel services limited to the aspects of the case specifically requiring their work. Clients were charged an upfront nonrefundable fee of roughly $1,200, as well as ongoing monthly fees that ranged from $400 to $1,300.

    Wall first signed agreements with CAS in 2012, first as an “associate” and later as a “partner,” agreeing to provide discrete services to CAS bankruptcy and foreclosure defense clients in Indiana. He received fixed sums for some services, $25 as a partner for every case assigned to other CAS-associated attorneys in Indiana and minimum wage for 10-20 hours per week as “partner pay.”
    Brenda McCann, the owner of McCann Law Group, has been effectively disbarred from the Florida Bar, and she was never licensed to practice law in Indiana, though the companies were registered as business entities.