Fraudclosure: Judge Fines Foreclosure Law Firm $1.8 Million for Bogus Billings
“Lawyers abusing the foreclosure process to enrich their private bank accounts is a practice that undermines citizen’s faith in the legal profession”
Judge Fines Foreclosure Law Firm $1.8 Million for Bogus Billings
Hopp Law Firm found to have over-charged consumers for title policies
A Denver judge has fined one of the city’s prolific foreclosure attorneys $1.8 million for billing thousands of consumers facing the loss of their homes for title-insurance policies that did not exist.
Robert Hopp Jr. and his now-defunct law firm billed customers fighting foreclosure for policies that were never issued and inflated the cost of the few that were, the Colorado Attorney General’s office argued in a seven-day trial in February.
The 37-page judgement handed down last week by Denver District Judge Shelley Gilman is the latest in a number of cases the state filed in 2013 against lawyers that specialized in foreclosures and allegedly padded their bills for costs that were ultimately borne by consumers losing their homes, the banks foreclosing on them and taxpayers whose federal insurance agencies covered the costs.
Homeowners facing foreclosure had no choice but to pay the costs in order to stop the foreclosure process, and there was no process in place to challenge any of the fees lawyers said they were owed.
Several firms settled the cases against them, including one of the largest — Aronowitz & Mecklenburg — which closed its doors. The largest foreclosure law firm, The Castle Group, also closed, but remains entwined in a bitter court battle against the state and the fraud allegations made against the firm and its principal, Larry Castle.
Hopp was accused in the civil lawsuit of over-billing consumers on more than 2,200 foreclosure cases The Hopp Law Firm and Robert J. Hopp & Associates handled between 2008 and 2014.