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Homeowners Taking Second Mortgages...To Pay Foreclosure Lawyers

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The "robo-signers" scandal begat a nationwide freeze in home foreclosures.

And now, it seems that the sloppy work on the part of the banks has spawned something altogether entirely new:

Attorneys ensuring payment from foreclosure clients they represent by having them take out second mortgages on homes they can't pay for to begin with.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we use a bit of ingenuity to find an affordable way to represent them?’ ” said Peter Ticktin of the Ticktin Law Group in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “It’s a new model, a new paradigm.”

The New York Times reports that "Ticktin mortgages resemble the loans that the clients originally got from Countrywide, GMAC and other lenders. Each will be a contractual obligation with the law firm, labeled as a mortgage and structured like one, too, with the client paying a certain sum every month and using the house as collateral."

Lester Brickman, a professor at Cardozo Law School in New York, isn't so sure he likes this idea.

“For a lawyer to supplement or replace the banks as a long-term mortgage creditor of homeowners leaves me a little queasy,” said Mr. Brickman, an expert on contingency fees. “It’s an invitation for the public to say, ‘There go the lawyers again.’ ”

And there do go the lawyers again--to O. Max Gardner III's 160-acre North Carolina farm, for a four-day, $7,775 "boot camp" on protecting homeowners from unscrupulous creditors.

Topics include “Max’s Favorite Discovery Devices,” “Strategy to Trap Opponents in their Own Mistakes,” “Mortgage Servicing Litigation: How the Legal Network for Creditors is Organized” and “The Alphabet Problem, A to D Unlawful Transfer of Mortgages and Notes.”

“My time with Max changed the trajectory of my legal career,” Nick Wooten, an Alabama attorney who changed his focus from personal injury to bankruptcy and foreclosure after attending Max's boot camp, told Bloomberg. “Knowledge is power, and one thing he is able to give in his boot camp is a tremendous amount of knowledge about how the other side operates.”

Attendees stay in Max's luxurious home...

...which, one can assume, is well-insulated from foreclosure.
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