Thoughts on these mortgage attorneys?

9 Replies

Hello BP

The servicer I use said that if I needed to go through a foreclosure in Texas I would have to use one of their approved attorneys below. Was curious if anyone has had experience with one of these firms? Just want to get a head start on the vetting process

  • Albertelli Law
  • Rose L. Brand & Associates
  • Special Default Services Inc_Trustee
  • Choice Legal Group, PA dba: Miller, Watson and George
  • Waldman & Kaplan, PA 

I believe TX is non judicial?
Albertelli had a boat load of foreclosures here in FL, a judicial process which has a lot more steps. I do remember them as being a bit slow, likely overwhelmed by the volume they picked up, like many of other the “foreclosure mills” after the big hit.

If your servicer is FCI, you can have them add your attorney of choice.  I've done it, it takes a little while and the attorney has to be willing to complete FCI's paperwork.  

@Abel T.   I’ve used Special Default Services numerous times for FCL in Texas.  Excellent service at a reasonable cost.  They are not attorneys however, they are fulfilling the role of trustee, which is what you need in a Deed of Trust state.  One other point, your servicer should not be dictating which attorney you work with.  Sounds like you may be in "full collection" mode with the servicer.  If that is the case, my advice would be to change the servicing level on the loan so that you are in the drivers seat with regard to the FCL, and work with the attorney or trustee directly.  Servicing fees will be less expensive as well.

Thanks for the feedback guys, this is great. @Wayne Brooks I read similar on Albertelli so that's good info to know.

@Mike Hartzog - so I assumed I could do it your way, but when I first spoke to FCI about the FCL process, I was surprised to get the feedback that "If you ever need to initiate foreclosure on any of your loans, FCI would need to initiate with an attorney in our network". Are you using FCI, and then able to use your own attorney/trustee because it is kept at the basic servicing level? Or are you using another servicer, and it's just that FCI is more strict than other servicers when it comes to who your attorney/trustee is? As a note, they told me this even though my loan is performing and not in the full-collection level (I was just asking them about FCL to prep ahead of time)

Sounds like @Tim S. got the same feedback from FCI as I did, but is adding his representatives to the network to work around it?

I don’t use FCI.  Fired them years ago.  I use Madison.  I would read the servicing agreement and see if there is any language there that would prevent you from exercising your rights as a lien holder as you see fit.  

Originally posted by @Mike Hartzog :

I don’t use FCI.  Fired them years ago.  I use Madison.  I would read the servicing agreement and see if there is any language there that would prevent you from exercising your rights as a lien holder as you see fit.  

Got it, that makes sense (and can't blame you re FCI..) Thanks Mike!

Originally posted by @Abel T. :
Originally posted by @Mike Hartzog:

I don’t use FCI.  Fired them years ago.  I use Madison.  I would read the servicing agreement and see if there is any language there that would prevent you from exercising your rights as a lien holder as you see fit.  

Got it, that makes sense (and can't blame you re FCI..) Thanks Mike!

 I agree, I just fired FCI and transferred my last note away from them to Madison.  They are terrible at customer service and have way too many red tape policies which made them impossible to work with.  Your point above about having to use their approved attorneys is a good example.  I had all my notes with them as Client Managed, and they were not cooperative in working with any of my self appointed attorneys.  The last one I had was a BK where they charged $95/mth yet would not provide any info requested to my attorney or the trustee.  Very frustrating.  So in short, if your note becomes non performing, I would switch servicers. 

@Abel T. We recently had a borrower file Ch13 BK and we used our own attorney to file the POC. FCI wanted him to fill out one of their documents to become "approved." It wasn't too much of a big deal but it is more paperwork. I suggest using Carrington Foreclosure Services. They can do FCs in TX. (I've used CFS for several FC's and they are top notch; I don't get anything for referring them). I can send contact info if you'd like.

We've also used CFS and our own attorneys for other FCI foreclosures with no issues. I've had some of the same communications complaints that some of the others have mentioned. 

@Chad U. @Mike Hartzog That's two more votes for Madison and I've been hearing some good things about them. We were going to use them a couple of years ago but they weren't HAMP certified. I guess it doesn't matter anymore but I want to try them out when we buy our next pool.

Originally posted by @Abel T. :

Hello BP

The servicer I use said that if I needed to go through a foreclosure in Texas I would have to use one of their approved attorneys below.

No disrespect, but that is not it at all.  In fact, for their attorney, that may be an ethics violation.  You can choose any attorney you want.  If they say you must...and you don't want to, they might not have to service your loans.

But also, like the others said, you can likely just have your choice of attorney added to their "approved" list.