Complaint Review: hoffman law group
hoffman law group residential litigation group scam fake law firm sales people charge upfront fees foreclosure fraud litigation mass joinder north palm beach Florida
*Consumer Comment: Ripped Off by The Hoffman Law Firm
*General Comment: V
Clients allege high retainer and monthly fees to be included in mass plaintiff foreclosure suits.
NORTH PALM BEACH —
Struggling homeowners from the Pacific Northwest to South Florida are complaining to state officials about a North Palm Beach law firm they say roped them into expensive litigation against their banks that is now floundering in federal court.
In letters to attorneys general in 40 states, including Florida, clients and two former employees of the Hoffman Law Group claim retainer fees as high as $6,000 and monthly maintenance fees of $495 are being billed to homeowners for inclusion in mass plaintiff lawsuits that charge mortgage and foreclosure-related wrongdoing.
Some borrowers also allege they were promised foreclosure defense by intake representatives at the firm, but either never received it or were referred to another firm for an additional cost.
One man, Billy Hannah of Euclid, Ohio, said he paid $2,000 thinking his foreclosure was being defended, but when he showed up at a court hearing in February, he had no representation.
“I just felt so stupid,” said Hannah, who filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. “The judge was looking at me like I don’t have a clue because I’m telling him my attorney is in West Palm Beach.”
The company, led by attorney Marc H. Hoffman, was served cease and desist orders by New Mexico and Idaho and is under investigation by the Florida Bar after posting a Craigslist help wanted ad for sales representatives and “strong closers.” The ad touted weekly $1,000 paychecks and “being spoiled” with “only warm leads and inbound calls.”
Phone and email messages to Hoffman and an attorney who represented him in a recent matter were not returned.
Homeowners said they were solicited through mailings, TV commercials or phone calls. They are signed up for electronic bank drafts for payments, and connected with an attorney reading from a script that extols the value of joining with several hundred other plaintiffs in a lawsuit.
“Let’s call them your new best friends,” the homeowner is told in the script, which was provided to The Palm Beach Post by former Hoffman Law Group attorney Michele Stephens.
Stephens said she resigned in February after growing concerned about boiler-room style salesmanship and that she was expected to consult with homeowners from dozens of states when she was licensed to practice law only in Kentucky.
Stephens sent letters to attorneys general in states where her former clients live. At least two dozen complaints have been made to states and the Better Business Bureau from individual borrowers in Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Miami, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oregon, Georgia, West Virginia and Missouri.
Florida’s attorney general refers complaints about the Hoffman Law Group to the Florida Bar, saying it is the agency responsible for reviewing grievances against lawyers.
“They promised a reduction of the principal balance, 30 percent equity, and erasure of all negative/late payments on my credit report,” wrote Illinois resident Sarah Schoppman in a February 2013 letter to that state’s attorney general. “However, I have found no evidence of this group
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/07/2014 09:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hoffman-law-group/north-palm-beach-florida-33408/hoffman-law-group-residential-litigation-group-scam-fake-law-firm-sales-people-charge-upf-1137106. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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