What’s The Money For?
After reviewing the history on consumer protection law and regulation (a history that has been developing since the 1600’s in England), I’ve found that the cause has historical support in case law but needs the right people who are passionate about freedom from oppression. For nearly a century, Americans benefited from a general assumption that consumers must be protected. Those benefits were removed through market manipulation by shady individuals and organizations (mainly sellers in the market). According to experts, the big picture shows that, in consumer related case law, there are shifts in the trend but, the overall long-term trend in America is toward consumer protection because of our dependency on the market system in our society.
After filing the lawsuit, the bank’s attorney’s requested a motion for summary judgment (MSJ hearing). The MSJ hearing was September 17th. If we had won (that was looking probable based on the feedback that my attorneys gave during preparation), then we would have started to prepare for a trial. The trial phase would require a different attorney that has lots of experience in that area (this fact was not disclosed to me when I hired the attorney). The problem was that there were no attorneys that would take the case on a contingency basis so money would need to be raised to fund the trial. We did not make it past the MSJ hearing because the judge decided there was no finding of fact in our petition. In hindsight, I believe that the petition was not properly written but I can’t be sure without a pro-consumer minded attorney working with me to review the MSJ documents. This would be someone with knowledge of consumer protection law. Once that is done, then I’ll have a better Idea of what all of the options are moving forward. DeLeon and Washburn are done with the case and I believe that there may have been a conflict of interest in their involvement. They were chosen based on a referral through my church which gave me confidence that the law firm would act in good faith. In retrospect, they may have been a bad choice due to a possible conflict of interest related to their main source of revenues coming from businesses rather than consumers. It’s looking likely based on how the MSJ part of the case was handled. (If only there were some mechanism in place that would give consumers access to information needed for making a rational decision on which attorney to hire!) What that means is that I’m now on the hook for $40,000 and still have not gotten my day in court. The next steps are to find a consumer protection attorney to help with review of the MSJ procedures and to advise on whether there are any other avenues to explore at the state or federal level.
I’ve reduced monthly payments from $750.00 to $100.00/mo. because that’s all I can afford. I also don’t know what will happen if I stop payments altogether asserting that my attorneys did not act in good faith (in other words, did not give the services promised for the fee negotiated). I’m working with take home income of $32,000 per year (varies year to year). I’m also paying $250.00 per month to the second mortgage company (the loan was originated as an 80/20) on the house which I no longer live in (payments continue for another 5 years).
Services needed to be funded are:
1) Hiring a consumer protection attorney and possibly file additional appeals/suits on the state level or in federal court depending on what the attorneys believe is the best course of action.
2) Paying outstanding invoices on any valid invoices for legal services already performed.
3) Advocacy to obtain “official consumer status” for homeowners and other legislation that gives homeowners protection from the kind of deceptiveness, and misrepresentation that was intended by congress with federal FTC and state DTPA legislation. This is much needed to compensate for the power imbalance in the market that has been increasing over the last 140 years.
If all you have is $1.00, it will help greatly.
Thanks for reading and I welcome your feedback.