• Report: #714243

Complaint Review: American Residential Law Group

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 05, 2011
  • Updated: Tue, September 25, 2012

  • Reported By: Kay — Springfield Georgia U.S.A.
American Residential Law Group
6245 N Federal Hwy # 401 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida United States of America

American Residential Law Group Oscar Estevez fraud, stole, lied, thieves, crooks, bad lawyers Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

*Author of original report: OHIO GETS ARLG

*Author of original report: Georgia Department of Banking and Finance's Order to Cease and Desist Issued to American Residential Law Group, Inc. aka ARLG Becomes Final

*Author of original report: William O'Tool SUSPENDED

*Author of original report: William O'Tool SUSPENDED

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Joel Scott Jacobi
Suspended
Not Eligible to practice in Florida
ID Number:-107239

I am in the process of filing a complaint against Jacobi & Estevez with the FL BAR. The form lets you list anyone else who has a complaint against Jacobi. He is already under suspension, help me keep him suspended or better yet have him disbarred.

You have to file separate complaints on each lawyer. Oscar Estevez is listed as President of ARLG.

Has anybody looked at their site lately they have a new number and email. 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/05/2011 04:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Residential-Law-Group/Ft-Lauderdale-Florida-33308/American-Residential-Law-Group-Oscar-Estevez-fraud-stole-lied-thieves-crooks-bad-lawy-714243. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

OHIO GETS ARLG

AUTHOR: Kay - (U.S.A.)

Government ActionsThe following describes a government action that has been resolved by either a settlement or a decision by a court or administrative agency. If the matter is being appealed, it will be noted below.UPDATE TO CASE No. CVH 08-10169
As of July 20, 2012 the following is the final action by the State of OH ex. rel., Attorney General Mr. R. Michael DeWine, Plantiff v. American residential Law Group, et.al., Defendants on the Decision and Default Judgement Entry Against Defendants Joel Jacobi and Oscar Estevez.

FINDING OF FACT
1) Defendants Jacobi and Estevez offered help to consumers attempting to avoid foreclosure by working with consumer's lender to modify the consumer's mortgage or adjust what the consumer owes.
2. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez usually required consumers to sign a contract, sometimes referred to as the 'services agreement," before Defendant ARLG (American Residential Law Group) would provide services.
3. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez's contract states that "(ARLG)employs professional negotiators with expertise in dealing with lending institutions regarding mortgages on residential/commercial real estate"." 
4. In the contract, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez agree to "requests (sic) original RESPA/RILA documentation including the original not and all call transcripts between the client and bank for (ARLG's)review."
5. In the contract, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez agree to "perform a detailed market analysis of the subject property and the surrounding areas."
6. In the contract, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez agree to "preform a loss liquidation analysis on the subject property."
7. In the contract, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez agree to "attempt to successfully negotiate and obtain for the client a modification of the rate and/or term of the existing mortgage(s) currently held by clients (sic) Lender(s), which modification will result in a lower interest rate, a change from and (sic)which modification will result in a lower interest rate, a change from and (sic) adjustable rate to a fixed rate, or a lower interest rate, a change from and (sic) adjustable rate to a fixed rate, or a longer term, and/or principal reduction..."
8. In the contract, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez agree to "perform a detailed analysis of the Client's finances, both assets, liabilities, and expenses, and to evaluate and make recommendations to client if needed."
9. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez required consumers to pay a fee for their services. The consumer must pay all or some of the fee up-front before ARLG would provide its services. The fee was usually between $1,395. and $3,350.
10. The contract states that "Client further agrees to not to interfere, in any way, with negotiations between Company and Client's lenders."
11. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez solicited Ohio residents for their services, and Ohio residents paid Defendants Jacobi and Estevez for their services.
12. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez often failed to perform the services listed in the contract.
13. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez often failed to communicate with consumers, and did not return consumers' phone calls or emails. 
14. When Defendants Jacobi and Estevez failed to perform the services listed in the contact, they did not provide refunds to the consumer.
15. When Defendants Jacobi and Estevez did provide their services, the services were often of little to no value to the consumer, and the consumer often remained in foreclosure.CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. This action was brought pursuant to Ohio's Consumer Sales practices Act., R.C.1345.01 et seq., and the debt Adjuster's Act, R.C.4710.01 et seq.
2. The State of Ohio, ex rel. Attorney General R. Michael DeWine is a proper party to bring this action in the public interest pursuant to R.C.1345.07.
3. The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants Jacobi and Estevez.
4.Defendants Jacobi and Estevez were 'suppliers" as that term is defined in R.C.1345.01(C) as Defendants Jacobi and Estevez at all times relevant herein, engaged in the business of effecting "consumer transactions" by soliciting for sale and selling foreclosure relief services to "individuals" in Franklin County and other counties, for purposes that were primarily personal, family or household within the meaning specified in R.C.1345.01 (A) and (D).
5. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez engaged in "debt adjusting" as that term is defined in R.C.4710.01.
6. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez committed unfair, deceptive acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Sales practices Act, R.C.1345.02, by:
a) failing to perform services;
b) failing to provide promised or required refunds;
7. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez committed unfair, deceptive and unconscionable acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act, R.C.1345.02 and 1345.03, by:
a) entering into transactions or providing services that Defendant ARLG knew did not provide a substantial benefit to the consumer;
b) requiring consumers to enter into contracts that were substantially one-sided in favor of Defendants Jacobi and Estevez; and
c) prohibiting consumers from contacting their lenders.
8. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez committed violations of the Debt Adjuster's Act, R.C.4710.01 et seq., by providing debt adjusting services to consumers by:
a) charging fees in excess of those allowed by the statute.
9. The acts or practices committed by Defendants Jacobi and Estevez in Conclusions of Law paragraphs 6, 7, and 8 have been previously determined by Ohio courts to violate the Consumer Sales Practices Act, 1345.01 et seq. Defendant ARLG committed said violations after such decisions were made available for the public inspection by the Attorney General pursuant to R.C.1345.05(A)(3).THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that:
1. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez, their agents, servants, representatives, salespeople, employees, successors or assigns and all persons acting in concert or participating with him directly or indirectly, are hereby permanently enjoined from engaging in any acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act, R.C. 1345.01 et seq. and the Debt Adjuster's Act, R.C. 4701.10 et seq.
2. The actions described in Conclusion of Law paragraph 6 and 7 constitute unfair, deceptive, and/or unconscionable acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act, R.C. 1345.01 et seq.
3. The actions described in Conclusion of Law paragraph 8 violate the Debt Adjuster's Act, R.C. 4710.01 et. seq.
4. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez are jointly and severally ordered to reimburse eighteen (18) who have been damaged by its actions. This reimbursement shall be made by certified check or money order in the amount of $27,725 payable to the Attorney General of Ohio, within fourteen days of the filing of this Decision and Default Judgment Entry. The Attorney General shall distribute the money as allocated above.
5. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez are jointly and severally assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $25,000., to be paid by certified check or money order to the Attorney General of Ohio within fourteen days of the filing of this Decision and Default Judgment Entry.
6. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez are enjoined from engaging in consumer transactions in the State of Ohio until all court ordered relief arising from the Decision and Default Judgment Entry is paid in full.
7. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez are ordered to maintain in their possession and control for a period of five years from the date of this Decision and Default Judgment Entry all business records relating to the consumer transactions alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint, and to permit the Ohio Attorney General or his representative, upon reasonable twenty-four hour notice, to inspect and/or copy all such records.
8. If Plaintiff has to pursue post-judgment proceedings to enforce this order, Defendants Jacobi and Estevez shall be liable for Plaintiff's costs and attorney fees for enforcing this order.
9. Defendants Jacobi and Estevez are assessed all court costs of this action.For further assistance, please contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or website OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.---------------------------------------- As of August 18, 2011, Attorney General Mr. Michael DeWine has filed a civil lawsuit against American Residential Law Group (ARLG), a Florida-based foreclosure rescue company that charges consumers $1,395 to $3,350 to negotiate loan modifications with the consumers' lenders. According to the lawsuit filed this week, ARLG failed to deliver promised services and failed to provide refunds. The lawsuit charges ARLG with violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act and Debt Adjuster's Act. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil

 As anybody heard anything new from the FL BAR??


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#2 Author of original report

Georgia Department of Banking and Finance's Order to Cease and Desist Issued to American Residential Law Group, Inc. aka ARLG Becomes Final

AUTHOR: Kay - (U.S.A.)

Atlanta, Georgia  On August 18, 2011, an Order to Cease and Desist issued by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (Department) to American Residential Law Group, Inc. aka ARLG located at 12555 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 844, Miami, Florida 33181 became final.This Order to Cease and Desist was issued by the Department after it obtained evidence that American Residential Law Group, Inc. aka ARLG engaged in residential mortgage brokering activities without a license or under an applicable exemption in violation of O.C.G.A. 7-1-1002.Pursuant to Georgia law, it is prohibited for any person to directly or indirectly solicit, process, place, or negotiate mortgage loans for others, or offer to solicit, process, place, or negotiate mortgage loans for others without a mortgage license or pursuant to an exemption from licensure.It is also prohibited for any person knowingly to purchase, sell, or transfer a mortgage loan or loan application from or to an entity that is not licensed or exempt from licensing or registration provisions.Contact: 
Rod Carnes
Deputy Commissioner for Non-Depository Financial Institutions
Phone: (770) 986-1371
E-mail:   rodc@dbf.state.ga.us The Department has regulatory and/or licensing authority over state-chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, mortgage loan originators, mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders, mortgage processors, check cashers, sale of check companies, money transmitters, international banking organizations, and bank holding companies conducting business in Georgia.  Visit us on the Web at: http://dbf.georgia.gov/ 

http://www.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_79369762/174438683AmerResidentialLawGroup_FinalOrder.pdf


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#3 Author of original report

William O'Tool SUSPENDED

AUTHOR: Kay - (U.S.A.)

Boca Raton attorney suspended for nationwide loan modification dealings by Kim Miller

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered the emergency suspension of a Boca Raton attorney after the Florida Bar said his home loan modification and foreclosure defense business was causing great public harm.

William OToole, whose firm Summit Legal Group worked with as many as 3,000 clients nationwide, is prohibited from accepting new clients and withdrawing money from company accounts per the July 25 order.

OToole has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1992. He could not be reached for comment.

A petition asking for his suspension says he is the subject of 20 bar disciplinary matters filed by clients who allege he has failed to communicate with them and failed to diligently handle their cases.

According to the petition OToole accepted up-front fees to do loan modifications in conjunction with his business which employed non-attorneys.

Clients were charged between $1,500 and $3,000 up-front for the work. It is against Florida law for loan modification companies to accept up-front fees from clients.

However, lawyers representing clients are still allowed to accept up-front fees, which has led the Florida Bar to warn attorneys about working with non-attorney companies trying to skirt the law by joining forces with them.

The Florida Bar has clearly and repeatedly warned its membership that they should be wary of associating with non-lawyer foreclosure-rescue consultants who seek to avoid the up-front fee limitations of the statute, the complaint says.

OToole is accused of allowing non-lawyers in his company to improperly solicit clients on his behalf for loan modifications and foreclosure defense on a nationwide basis despite the fact he can only practice law in Florida.

In a deposition, OToole admitted that he allows almost exclusive control of the office to the non-lawyers who control all the contact with the clients from the initial call, to the fee agreement, to negotiations with the bank and then advising the client of the outcome of their case.
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#4 Author of original report

William O'Tool SUSPENDED

AUTHOR: Kay - (U.S.A.)

Boca Raton attorney suspended for nationwide loan modification dealings by Kim Miller

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered the emergency suspension of a Boca Raton attorney after the Florida Bar said his home loan modification and foreclosure defense business was causing great public harm.

William OToole, whose firm Summit Legal Group worked with as many as 3,000 clients nationwide, is prohibited from accepting new clients and withdrawing money from company accounts per the July 25 order.

OToole has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1992. He could not be reached for comment.

A petition asking for his suspension says he is the subject of 20 bar disciplinary matters filed by clients who allege he has failed to communicate with them and failed to diligently handle their cases.

According to the petition OToole accepted up-front fees to do loan modifications in conjunction with his business which employed non-attorneys.

Clients were charged between $1,500 and $3,000 up-front for the work. It is against Florida law for loan modification companies to accept up-front fees from clients.

However, lawyers representing clients are still allowed to accept up-front fees, which has led the Florida Bar to warn attorneys about working with non-attorney companies trying to skirt the law by joining forces with them.

The Florida Bar has clearly and repeatedly warned its membership that they should be wary of associating with non-lawyer foreclosure-rescue consultants who seek to avoid the up-front fee limitations of the statute, the complaint says.

OToole is accused of allowing non-lawyers in his company to improperly solicit clients on his behalf for loan modifications and foreclosure defense on a nationwide basis despite the fact he can only practice law in Florida.

In a deposition, OToole admitted that he allows almost exclusive control of the office to the non-lawyers who control all the contact with the clients from the initial call, to the fee agreement, to negotiations with the bank and then advising the client of the outcome of their case.
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