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Foreclosure Defense Goes Meta: Taking Out a Mortgage to Pay Your Lawyer

I'm not sure exactly where this falls on the list of bad ideas, but I think it would make the Sunday morning Top 40 countdown. The Consumer Law & Policy Blog puts the question succinctly:

Would You Take Out A Mortgage To Pay The Lawyer Who Got You Out of Foreclosure?

Smart_claims_nowin_nofee You are in foreclosure. You have no money to pay a lawyer to get you out of foreclosure and keep you in your house. So, you agree that, if the lawyer succeeds in keeping you in your house, you will take out a second mortgage -- pledging your home as collateral -- to pay your legal fees on a monthly basis.




Not if my lawyer looked as smug as that chick in the stock photo, I wouldn't!

CLP links to the New York Times article that spurred the question. The practice of pledging your home as collateral to the guy who just stopped the bank from kicking you out was reportedly pioneered by Deerfield Beach, Fla., attorney Peter Ticktin. And he calls it "a new paradigm." Uh oh. That's the kind of buzzword-speak that makes me twitchy. If he talks about being proactive to avoid a slippery slope, I might explode.

While the Times article is peppered with quotes from attorneys who think this concept is as shady as I do, Ticktin wishes to put you at ease:

“We would never enforce the mortgage and foreclose,” he said. “We’re not in that end of the game. We’re not money lenders. We’re charging a small amount of interest” — four percent — “just to make it legal.”

"Yeah, I mean, I got this gun here, pointed at your head, but I would never pull the trigger or nothin'. I'm not a bad guy. It's just how I'm lookin' to get you to do this thing I want you to do."

When I hire a lawyer to represent me in my malpractice case against my foreclosure lawyer, do you think he'll be OK with payment by means of a third mortgage?

Posted by Eric Lipman on November 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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