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Mortgage relief or scam? Lawyers sued for fraud


California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued Philip Kramer, the Law Offices of Kramer & Kaslow, two other law firms, three other lawyers, and 14 other defendants “who are accused of working together to defraud homeowners across the country through the deceptive marketing of ‘mass joinder’ lawsuits,” which are suits with hundreds or more individually named plaintiffs. Read the attorney general's Aug. 18, 2011, press release.

Kramer’s firm and those of the other defendants were placed into receivership.

The legal actions were designed to shut down a scheme by attorneys and their marketing partners, in which they allegedly used false and misleading representations to induce thousands of homeowners into joining the mass joinder lawsuits against their mortgage lenders.

“The defendants in this case fraudulently promised to win prompt mortgage relief for millions of vulnerable homeowners across the country,” Harris said in the press release. “Innocent people, already battered by the housing crisis, were targeted for fraud in their moment of distress.” It is believed that at least 2 million pieces of mail were sent out by defendants to victims in at least 17 states. Defendants’ revenue from this scam is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

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