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California Attorney Disbarred for Accepting Advance Fees and running an “Attorney Backed” Loan Modification Scam

Jerry Alonzo Stevenson, 43, San Diego, California, State Bar #262798, was disbarred for accepting advance fees for loan modification matters in violation of Civil Code § 2944.7(a), failing to competently perform legal services, and failing to promptly refund advanced fees.

Between March and September 2011 several individuals hired Stevenson to negotiate plans with their mortgage lenders or creditors to restructure their home loan payments. All of the clients learned about Stevenson’s services from unsolicited direct mail sent to their homes. The letters contained personal information regarding the clients and their lender or bank, and they appeared to be generated with the lender’s authorization. Stevenson’s representative told the clients that their loan modifications would be personally handled by him and guaranteed that he would successfully complete the restructuring. However, after the clients paid advance attorney’s fees, Stevenson did not complete the loan modification services.

In addition, Stevenson engaged in a business partnership with his office manager, a non-attorney with whom he shared legal fees. Stevenson delegated to the manager the tasks of accepting legal services, providing legal advice, supervising non-attorneys, and depositing client fees into joint accounts. Furthermore, Stevenson did not properly supervise his non-attorney staff and was only occasionally present at any of the law firm offices.

In each of the cases, Stevenson’s staff falsely told the clients that the loan modifications were in the process of being approved. In addition, Stevenson failed to respond to the clients’ reasonable status inquiries. All of the clients tried to obtain refunds, but Stevenson failed to return the advanced fees.

In aggravation, Stevenson had a record of prior discipline. Furthermore, his clients were seriously harmed, and he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that demonstrated a pattern of misconduct.

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LAWYERS REALTY GROUP is an attorney owned and operated real estate brokerage that was formed to help level the playing field between struggling homeowners and the banks who are threatening them with foreclosure, eviction, deficiency judgments, and collection actions.

Unlike traditional real estate agents, loan mod companies, bankruptcy attorneys, litigators and others who aggressively market their particular one-size-fits-all solution regardless of a homeowner’s future liability and financial well-being, Lawyers Realty Group provides clients with a customized analysis of their options, free legal counseling and clear direction on how to best resolve their particular mortgage issues – all without charging fees to the homeowner.

Derik N. Lewis, Esq., is the founder and president of Lawyers Realty Group. Derik is a California real estate attorney and a licensed Realtor® . He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law and has nearly 30 years of real estate experience. For more than two decades as an attorney in private practice, Derik has represented California homeowners with difficult real estate matters. Derik previously served as legal counsel for some of the world’s largest lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase (he knows how they operate and how to work within their systems to help you achieve the best possible outcome). He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Southern California School of Law speaking on real estate law, brokerage and litigation.

Professional Associations

  • Admitted to all State and Federal Courts in California
  • California Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • National Association of Realtors
  • California Association of Realtors
  • Orange County Association of Realtors
  • California Regional Multiple Listing Service

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Free legal analysis of all of your options, including how to limit or eliminate tax and deficiency liability.

Complete representation for the option that best suits your situation, whether you need assistance in reviewing a loan modification, filing bankruptcy, seeking a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, pursuing a planned foreclosure or selling in a short sale.

Free Bankruptcy filing in the BK/Short Sale package.

Free legal review and fraud analysis of all solicitations from the bank, real estate agents, lawyers or others.

Free and complete short sale representation including MLS listing, marketing, negotiation, deficiency waivers and closing. You need an Attorney/Realtor® to provide legal leverage and fully protect your interests.

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