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Alleged Scam Victim Gets Stay on Eviction

Ramon Lopez can keep his home for at least the weekend. That’s the decision of New Britain Superior Court which has consented to hold a hearing on re-opening his foreclosure.
Lopez is the alleged victim of a mortgage modification scam by a California law firm called The State Law Group. As reported previously on CTLatinoNews.com, Lopez paid the firm, which is not licensed to practice in Connecticut, more than $5000 in fees. State Law Group allegedly did nothing, causing Wells Fargo, the mortgage holder, to foreclose on Lopez’s New Britain home in March.
Lopez was set to be evicted from his home yesterday, July 26, but that was successfully stayed because his attorney William Rivera was successful in petitioning the court to hold a hearing on the motion. ‘I’m going to make the pitch that [my client] got scammed,” he said.
“The court didn’t have to put it down for a hearing,” Rivera explained.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal thinks Lopez may have been scammed as well. He has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the firm, which has given refunds on 10 occasions to clients after the Connecticut Department of Banking intervened. Blumenthal said the U.S. Attorney’s office could get involved if the FTC, which prevents fraud, deception, and unfair business practices, can refer a case for prosecution “if there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing.”
Rivera has been working hard to get Wells Fargo to re-open the foreclosure. He said its local law firm, Bendett & McCugh in Farmington, has been cordial but there has been no movement yet by the bank. (Blumenthal had said his office would contact the bank as well.)
The plea Rivera will make before the judge is to stay any action against his client until Wells Fargo makes a decision. “I hope it’s a sympathetic judge,” Rivera added, explaining that the judge can say no to the request to stay, can grant a stay or re-open the judgment. The latter, he said, has a probability of about 10 percent, “but stranger things have happened. We’re pushing because the alternative is my client is out on the street.”

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