My husband and I contacted Alliance Law Center in November 2008 after receiving one of their loan modification advertising letters in the mail. We contacted Alliance Law Center at the phone number listed on the letter to obtain more information and spoke with Ryan Smith from the Client Services Department.
After explaining to Mr. Smith, our dire situation, that we were behind on our payments and that our property was already in the foreclosure process and we were going to lose our property. He agreed that his company would be able to help modify the loan on our property through our lender “Aurora Loan Services” and “Washington”. He said that if we paid his firm a fixed fee of $4,200.00 for a forensic review and signed their “Legal Services Agreement” upfront they would be able represent us and get our payments modified and save the property.
This company told us that they were a full fledged law center that they had recently re-structured their focus to loan modifications and that they had a great working relationship with many of the banks that held the mortgages for clients that were in trouble.
On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, we received an e-mail from Mr. Smith requesting the retainer ($4,200.00) , signed “Client’s Legal Services Agreement” and signed “A Borrowers Signature Authorizations” and other various personal documents .
My husband and I personally met with Ryan Smith from Alliance Law Center and did a physical walk- through of their office. They had just recently moved into their offices located at 15822 Bernardo Center Drive, Ste. C, San Diego, CA 92127. Mr. Smith assured us that his company was legitimate and showed us all their case files that they had been working on and all the people that they had helped acquire loan modifications from various banks and financial institutions. He explained to us that the Alliance Law Center was a law firm and that the attorneys there have had great success with loan modifications from Aurora Loan Services. We did do some further research on the company on our own and it all appeared to be legitimate.
We signed the “Client’s Legal Services Agreement” and the “Borrower’s Signature Authorizations” and all the other requested documents and handed Mr. Smith a cashier’s check in the amount of $4,200.00 on Saturday, November 22, 2008.
However, soon after we turned over the check and signed the agreements and all the requested documents, every time we called their office to get a weekly status on our case (which is what was stated in Mr. Smith's initial e-mail) they had someone else answering the phone and working on our file.
The new person working on the case was almost never available. They never returned calls promptly and they requested numerous documents for review, sometimes requesting the same documents over and over because they claimed that they did not receive the faxes.
We later found out from calling “Aurora Loan Services” and “Washington Mutual” directly that Alliance Law Center had made a few inquiries on our property but that nothing further was done. We were able to get to a forbearance agreement with Aurora Loan Services, but at the end of the three month forbearance agreement they still did not agree to modify the payments on the property, instead they simply said that the fees and payments had accumulated and we now owed them double.
After several months of no contact with Alliance Law Center, I found out in June of 2009 that they had moved to a new office in Downtown San Diego. I personally went up to their new offices, and asked for their help, I was simply told that they had all new attorneys working for the company and after reviewing our file they had already done what they were hired to do, which is get us to a forbearance agreement with the bank.
I explained to them, that the initial agreement stated that they would get us a loan modification which is not what we received and then I requested a full refund of the $4,200.00 that was paid upfront, but they said that they didn’t give refunds. We ended up hiring a realtor and later placed the property up for a short sale.
However, we feel like we were completely scammed out the last of our savings by Alliance Law Center and in the end still ended up losing our property. We have now depleted our savings and have had to lose our property and are currently renting. We would have understood if the property was not able to be saved however, losing $4,200.00 out of our savings for nothing is not a fair deal.
Any help, on this matter would be appreciated.