Bankruptcy Attorneys | St. Louis

Beware of Online Foreclosure or Eviciton Help

The mortgage company is about to foreclose on your home, or your landlord is about to evict you from your rental unit, money is very tight, and you are looking for solutions.  There are lots of companies who advertise foreclosure or eviction prevention on line.  But be careful – there are many scam artists taking advantage of people who respond to these offers.  Here are two examples we’ve seen recently at TBC:

Mr. & Mrs. Smith had three children.  They became a couple of months behind in their rent, and their landlord was about to evict them.  They didn’t think they could afford a bankruptcy, so Mrs. Smith went online to look for options.  She found a company that advertised that they specialized in eviction help, and she paid their $450.00 fee, hiring them to help her file a bankruptcy.  The company assisted Mrs. Smith in filing a portion of a bankruptcy petition, and Mrs. Smith breathed a sigh of relief, thinking she was now under the protection of the Bankruptcy Court, and that her family would be able to stay in their home.  But the Smiths’ problems had just begun.  The company she had hired did not evaluate their financial situation properly.  Consequently, they filed the wrong chapter of bankruptcy for her; the bankruptcy included only her, even though her husband needed bankruptcy protection also; they did not tell her about a class she was required to take before the bankruptcy was filed in order for the bankruptcy to protect her; the husband’s business debt and the rest of the family’s debt were not included in the bankruptcy; and the petition that was filed was incomplete, but they did not tell her that she had a limited amount of time to complete and file the remaining bankruptcy schedules, nor were they available after the original filing to help her with this.  And as if that was not bad enough, they had put misinformation on the paperwork that she had signed under penalty of perjury.  The Smiths were very frustrated when the bankruptcy that they had thought was a cheaper option, actually did not stop the eviction at all, and was about to be dismissed because the petition was incomplete.  Mrs. Smith cashed in her 401(k) to pay off some of her debt, and eventually came to TBC for help.  We were able to file the correct bankruptcy for the couple, and for less money up front than she had paid to the internet scam.  Their current bankruptcy protects both her and her husband, and takes care of all of their debts, including stopping the garnishment that their previous bankruptcy ignored.  Had the Smiths hired TBC first, they would not only still have the fees they paid to the first company, they would also still have the 401(k), as it is protected under bankruptcy law, their garnishment would have been stopped sooner,  AND they would not have gotten evicted from their home.

Mr. Jones had gotten behind on his mortgage payments.  He contacted his bank in an attempt to work out a loan modification, but the bank refused to work with him.     He went online and found a company that advertised help with home foreclosures.  He paid their $2000 fee, and was referred to an attorney in Florida.  The attorney set up a conference call between himself, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Jones’ bank, and requested that the bank stop the foreclosure.  The bank refused to stop the foreclosure.  The attorney then informed Mr. Jones that the only other option he had to stop the foreclosure was to file a bankruptcy.  Since the attorney was in Florida, of course he wouldn’t be able to help Mr. Jones with the bankruptcy.  Mr. Jones called his local attorney, who referred him to TBC.   TBC was able to stop the foreclosure, and eliminate much of the rest of Mr. Jones’ debt as well, for significantly less money up front than Mr. Jones paid to the internet scam. 

The moral of these stories is that it is very important to use the Better Business Bureau to check out any internet offer that you are considering for legal help.  There are many dishonest advertisers trying to take advantage of people who are having financial difficulties, and the consequences to their victims can be devastating.

Don't wait until till it may be too late to seek protection under the bankruptcy law. Schedule a FREE Consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys and learn how the bankruptcy law applies to your specific situation. Call TBC today at 314-961-9822