STATE BAR CONTINUES PURSUIT OF ATTORNEY LOAN MODIFICATION FRAUD

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathleen Beitiks   415-538-2440   kathleen.beitiks@calbar.ca.gov

San Francisco, August 12, 2009 — Continuing its aggressive pursuit of lawyers who commit professional misconduct by taking advantage of vulnerable homeowners, The State Bar of California announced today that it has obtained the resignations of two lawyers and filed charges against a third for their loan modification activities.

The State Bar's special team on loan modification complaints coninues to investigate more than four hundred active complaints from consumers about lawyers' roles in loan modification scams.

The team, comprised of six investigators and four attorneys in the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, led by Supervising Trial Counsel Suzan J. Anderson, is working with local prosecutors, the office of the Attorney General of the State of California, and the California Department of Real Estate.

Among the State Bar's recent results:

  • On August 3, State Bar prosecutors obtained attorney Christian Dillon's (Bar No. 89376) resignation with charges pending. At that time, Dillon was under investigation for consumer complaints received by the bar regarding his affiliation with USMAC Law Group. Dillon has been enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar and is ineligible to practice law pending a Supreme Court Order accepting his resignation.
  • On August 4, State Bar prosecutors obtained attorney Nabile Anz's (Bar No. 183324) resignation with charges pending. Anz ran the Federal Loan Modification Law Center in Irvine. In July the bar had filed in the State Bar Court an application to have Anz enrolled involuntarily inactive, alleging that Anz abandoned clients who retained Federal Loan Modification Law Center by failing to perform on behalf of those clients, closing Federal Loan Modification Law Center without any notice to clients and failing to return unearned fees. Along with the resignation, the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel filed in the State Bar Court a Stipulation whereby Anz admitted the misconduct alleged in the application for involuntary inactive enrollment. Anz has been enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar and is ineligible to practice law pending a Supreme Court Order accepting his resignation.
  • On August 5, State Bar prosecutors filed an application against attorney Christopher Diener (Bar No. 187890) who was affiliated with Home Relief Services, to have Diener enrolled involuntarily inactive. Bar prosecutors allege that Diener misrepresented the scope of his services to clients, collected advanced fees from clients under false pretenses, and failed to perform any services to obtain a loan modification on behalf of his clients. A hearing on that application is scheduled for August 28 in State Bar Court.

"The State Bar of California is firmly committed to its mission of protecting the public," said Interim Chief Trial Counsel Russell Weiner. "As long as the need exists, this office will continue to devote substantial resources to the investigation and prosecution of attorneys who lose sight of their ethical responsibilities and take undue advantage of desperate homeowners under the pretense of helping them with mortgage loan modifications."
 

Founded in 1927 by the state legislature, the State Bar of California is the administrative arm of the California Supreme Court in bar admissions and discipline matters, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing in California must take and pass the California bar exam to become licensed to practice law in California. By August 2009, membership reached more than 223,000.

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