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Nevada Bar: Beware False Foreclosure Legal Advice in NV

October 28, 2008

Las Vegas, NV – Nevada homeowners battling foreclosure now face a new concern: offers of "legal help" that could actually be coming from companies who promise legal results - but may not be authorized to practice law.

According to David Clark, assistant counsel for the State Bar of Nevada, the organization is investigating several complaints against a Las Vegas company. Clark describes a typical complaint.

"When you call up, they say, 'For $4,000 we will save your home.' But when you push them on it, at least the allegation is, that it turns out to be a non-lawyer in Las Vegas. We've had a couple of similar complaints mentioning the same entity."

Before taking legal action, Clark says, they need to gather affidavits from alleged victims. Nevada attorney Norberto Cisneros says a client told him about the company's claim that, in order to save the client's house, it could "find a legal issue in the loan paperwork." Cisneros followed up, and became concerned when the person handling the call admitted he was not a lawyer.

"There may be problems with the paperwork and things of that nature, but you really need to go get a lawyer who can represent you. If there is a lawsuit, the lawyer will put his name on the line, saying, 'I represent this person.' They are then responsible if it's a frivolous lawsuit, not the clients themselves."

Cisneros says that's of particular concern to Nevada consumers because, under state law, those who file a "frivolous" lawsuit can be held liable for significant damages.

State Bar of Nevada services include no-cost referrals to attorneys. Learn more on its Web site, www.nvbar.org.

Michael Clifford/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NV