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Kudos for loan fraud work

I applaud the State Bar for its announced investigation of at least some attorneys for their egregious practices in the area of loan modification, and I applaud the bar’s new president for his interest in putting a stop to them. Russell Weiner’s observation that the bar has “never in my time at the bar received so many complaints in connection with a single area of practice” is no surprise to us, for the Better Business Bureau receives far more complaints about foreclosure consultants and loan modification than does the bar. Indeed, from a bar press release I learned that the bar had received 50 complaints about one firm. We had received more than 800 complaints about that same firm.

We receive some 7,000-10,000 consumer complaints each month, and it’s clear to us that loan modification is, and has been for some time, the single biggest consumer problem in the marketplace. Still, though, law firms are advertising.

Homeowners, already fearful of losing their homes, who hear ads telling them they need a lawyer to help them keep their homes, that they shouldn’t take on such a problem by themselves, that they need a lawyer, and so on, believe the ads. They have no idea that they will not be working with a lawyer in a traditional attorney-client relationship, that all communication will be, instead, with a nonlawyer, that no lawsuits will be filed, no forensic audits will be conducted, and, in fact, no legal work will be done.

If you were to ask us for a reliability report on the law firms with which the attorneys under investigation are affiliated, you would see our “F” rating again and again again.

The bar’s action in initiating the investigations couldn’t have come too soon. They have a tremendous task before them, and there are, indeed, as they’ve observed, many more law firms not yet named that need to be investigated.

William G. Mitchell, President
Better Business Bureau of the Southland
Colton

How about naming the banking lawyers?

The names of 16 small firm lawyers alleged to have committed misconduct in connection with loan modification services were published in October. This damaging disclosure was made despite the fact that there has been no formal adjudication of guilt.

Why does the bar not display similar vigor in exposing the financial institution attorneys who devised and defended the loan vehicles that caused the foreclosure crises?

The bar’s self-proclaimed moral outrage appears to be very selective.

Patrick Sullivan
Oakland

More Reynoso bio

I read with great interest your article about Cruz Reynoso and his many accomplishments. I was disappointed that you did not mention that he taught law at the University of New Mexico School of Law in the early 70s before he was appointed to the California Court of Appeal in 1976. I was a student at that school at the time. He was an inspirational law professor as well as a fine role model for the many Hispanic students at the school.

Cristina Ortega Morris
San Francisco

In defense of Chemerinsky

In the September issue you publish three letters from radicals who attack Professor Chemerinsky for supposedly being an “extreme lefty” and a writer with “well-documented far left biases.”

Are these letters representative of those you received? I find the professor’s analyses pretty straightforward, but regardless of that, it is distressing to see extremist ideology replacing reason even in our legal literature.

Keith Roberts
New York, N.Y.

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