After responding to radio advertisements from a company called Homes For Less, I had followed up and started the process on the purchase of a home. My contact at Homes For Less was person of the name of Ezequiel Saldana. Ezequiel had recommended a lawyer, Bernard Nathan, along with a mortgage company called First Rate Capital Corp. An appraisal was done by a person of the name Anthony Basile along with a termite inspection (done by PM services) prior to the sale. The appraiser was selected by either First Rate Capital or Homes For Less. Ultimately, the appraisal came back at 340K.
On June 22, 2004, I had purchased the home. After living in the home for a short time, I had noticed some serious issues associated with the structure. Also, after doing some basic checking of comparables sold in the area recently, I discovered that homes very similar to mine were going for considerably less. To quantify exactly how much less, I had an independent appraisal done along with an engineering inspection on August 24th, 2004. Much to my surprise, the appraisal came back at only 250K! In addition, there was serious damaged noted to the structure due to termites. The seller knew this since it was contained in a report that I had not seen up until a about a month ago, and didn't disclose the information to me. Aside from that, I wasn't helped by the very poor representation of my lawyer, Bernard Nathan.
This is when I started asking a lot of questions and got a hold of Bernard along with Mr. Saldana. After making several calls between them and other people, I had found out that Bernard has been writing poorly written contracts in favor of Homes For Less in exchange for additional recommendations to represent the sale of other homes. This business relationship clearly had violated basic ethical standards and represented a serious conflict of interest. Even though he was my lawyer, Bernard was actually representing Homes for Less! As an example, the termite provision in the contract was not written clear enough to protect my interests, and in fact was written to suit the seller.
I had called Bernard to try to resolve the issues and was told that he had no intention of doing anything to help me unless I retain him for a fee.
This had ultimately led me into purchasing a home for far more money that what it was worth.
Bay Shore, New York