Wednesday, September 12, 2012

State Bar Pulls Attorney's License, Orders Restitution After Admitting To Ripping Off $50K+ From Three Clients Seeking Loan Modification Help

From the California Bar Journal (August 2012):

  • Moses Sheldon Hall [#153759], 56, of Fullerton was disbarred June 21, 2012, and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. Hall stipulated to nine counts of misconduct in three loan modification matters.

    In each case, he advised his clients to stop making mortgage payments and they lost their homes to foreclosure. All the clients were current on their mortgage payments when they hired Hall.

    He instructed one client, who paid him a flat fee of $3,495, to stop making payments on her mortgages because lenders were only approving loan modifications on mortgages of delinquent borrowers. Instead, he told her to send monthly payments that he calculated at $779.42 — based on a presumed loan modification — and he would hold the money in his client trust account. The client followed his advice and her home was sold at foreclosure. Hall did not refund any of the $11,507.46 he was supposed to hold in trust.

    He calculated monthly payments of $1,987.93 for another client, who also sent the money to him instead of her lender. Her home also was sold in foreclosure and Hall misappropriated the $15,903.44 the client gave him. That client also paid Hall a $3,000 fee.

    A couple who paid $1,500 of a flat fee gave Hall monthly payments he calculated at $2,023.82; their house was sold at foreclosure. He misappropriated the $22,262.02 the couple gave him to hold in trust.

    Hall stipulated in each matter that he failed to perform legal services competently or maintain client funds in trust and he misappropriated client funds, committing acts of moral turpitude. Hall was publicly reproved in 1993.

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