I have been struggling for the last couple of years to keep my home, I catch up and fall behind again on my mortgage and the economy is just not getting better for me. I have tried everything, to no avail. I started trying to work with my lender (WAMU now Chase) back in 2008. I attempted to work with chase and grew frustrated that after one year of sending and resending paperwork and them losing they denied my modification. I was in the exact same position as when I first contacted them. After all the frustration of trying to work with them, I thought I had found the answer when I came across United Law Group. Anthony was very helpful at first and told me that they could help me. He took my information over the phone and "Qualified " me for a loan modification. He told me that I qualified, but after my experience with Chase on me to work with them I was skeptical at best. Anthony re-assured me and told me that the difference between "ULG" and others was that they were going to file a class action lawsuit against my lender and use that as leverage to modify my loan. HE SOLD ME, I paid my fee and that is when the nightmare started. after months of no return calls or emails I finally got ahold of someone. By this point i was looking for a refund, they told me that the reason I did not get a modification was that I had too much credit card debt and needed to enroll in "Debt Settlement", since i was mad at their lack of customer service, to "make it up to me" they would give me a discount on that service, that they also provided, told me that they had addressed their issues and "moving forward" they would not happen again. I GOT SOLD AGAIN!!! A few months later I called to get an update, their phones were no longer working, panicking i went on line and found out that they had been raided by the FTC, FBI, the BAR, I found out that the major reason they got shut down is that they promised thousands of people (myself included) that they would sue my bank and NEVER FILED ONE CASE. needless to say I am still in the same situation except I am out thousands of dollars and i am still struggling to make my mortgage payment. I am still trying to save my house, that is when i heard about Brookstone Law and that they were suing the banks. I contacted Brookstone and imagine my surprise when I the phone on the other end was familiar to me, It was Anthony!! the same person from ULG who i had first spoken to a year and a half earlier and never returned my call while he was at ULG. I did a search of Brookstone Law and found out that it is the SAME PEOPLE AS ULG, THE SAME ATTORNEY (The one that did not get disbarred) and the same person orchestrating a new SCAM, mastermind behind ULG. I feel silly enough to have been fooled by them twice. I WILL NOT BE FOOLED AGIAN! BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE
A MESSAGE FROM VITO TORCHIA, JR., MANAGING ATTORNEY OF BROOKSTONE LAW PC
Please be aware that people are using anonymous negative postings on the Internet to defame Brookstone Law, PC, and its attorneys and staff. They are posing as alleged clients or alleged potential clients and these claims are wholly untrue fabrications intended only to harm the public and impair our ability to serve our current and potential clientele. They are also allege that either I or Brookstone Law is somehow responsible for the actions of attorneys that use to work for a former client called United Law Group, Inc. Neither I nor anyone who works for Brookstone Law have anything to do with those actions.
Due to the posting of Cease and Desist letters on the Philip Kramer, Esq. website, and the posting of similar warnings to consumers by attorney Mitchell J. Stein on his website, we believe individuals associated with the affiliates and Non-Attorney “Ambassadors” of Kramer & Kaslow, K2 Law, Matt Davis, Esq., or Mass Litigation Associates, are posting the defamatory comments on the Internet, where anonymous false accusations and defamatory slanders may be published without verification, proof or consequence.
The posted accusations are false statements created to try to prohibit Brookstone Law from helping homeowners. Brookstone Law is not affiliated in any way with Kramer & Kaslow, K2 Law, Matt Davis, Esq., or Mass Litigation Associates, or their affiliates, associates and Ambassadors. Please also note these posts are not from clients of Brookstone Law, PC, and in fact, positive unsolicited endorsements of our services from our clients may be found on this website by clicking on the Real Estate/EED sidebar tab on the home page. We are dedicated to fighting for our clients and their rights and adhering to the highest ethical and legal standards in our work; we welcome any legitimate comments or inquiries about Brookstone Law, PC, its attorneys, staff or services and will gladly and personally respond to them. For immediate information, please contact our Consumer Protection Department at (800) 489-0734 or at ConsumerAlert@Brookstone-Law.com.
What a load of bull Vito! You know that both you and MANY of your employees have MUCH to do with the ULG actions. Does the press announcement announcing you as an attorney representing United Law Group Clients not ring a bell? You ARE COMPLETELY FULL OF IT! Are you out of your mind! Everything you wrote it is a lie to shift the blame from the fact that you've been exposed Vito.
Vito Torchia, Jr. and Damian Kutzner ripped off thousand of homeowners through United Law Group. In their very short time at ULG they managed to log over 300 complaints with the BBB http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/United-Law-Group-Inc-100076162, and get themselves shut down by the FBI http://thepatriotswar.com/index.php/fbi-raids-offices-of-united-law-group-shut-d... . As the bankruptcy trustee involved with United Law Group bankruptcy noted: this was when they decided to open Brookstone Law.
"The Trustee is informed, believes and therefore alleges that Brookstone is a corporation which was merely created by the United Law Group’s insider and COO, Damian Kutzner. The evidence indicates Brookstone was created for, among other things, to take control of the United Law Group’s debt settlement business along with the Deposit Fund Account and the United Law Group’s Revenue Stream in furtherance of a scheme to hinder, delay and defraud the United Law Group'’s creditors."
Make no mistake about it Brookstone Law is United Law Group by another name. When the FBI shuts down Brookstone Law, just like the people from United Law Group you will not get your money back. Damian Kutzner will just roll it over into his next scam and just like Sean Rutledge Vito Torchia, Jr. will be left without a license, but such as life. THE ONLY THING IS THAT YOU CAN MAKE A DECISION TO PROTECT YOURSELF. DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH THESE PEOPLE. THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY!
Let's face it, Damian Kutzner knows that this "Brookstone Law" place is just like EVERY other "endeavor"/scam that he (Damian Kutzner) has ever controlled. This means that he already knows that this thing called Brookstone Law/ULG gets shut down. So knowing this just like with United Law Group the money is already out the door and nesting in another company that he and another puppet attorney will roll into next. Minus, of course, Vito and his Bar License. Damian cannot by law own or operate pretty much any firm that uses telephones to solicit clients that is why they keep his name off of everything, but everyone inside Brookstone knows that he is the one running the show in this new scam operation. Long - short: the only way to get your money out of Brookstone Law or any company under Damian Kutzner's control is- NOT TO PUT IT IN!
A MESSAGE FROM MITCHELL J. STEIN, ESQ. AND MJS & ASSOCIATES
Consumer Alert! Individuals are continuing post anonymous negative information on the Internet to defame Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. and MJS & Associates. These persons are posing as clients or potential clients and the claims they are making in their posts are untrue falsehoods and fabrications that are meant to harm the public and impair the ability of Mitchell J. Stein Esq. and MJ Stein & Associates to serve current and potential clients.
The accusations these persons have posted are false statements intended to prohibit Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. from helping homeowners. Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. and MJS & Associates is not affiliated with the organizations or individuals we believe are posting these false statements in any way. These individuals and organizations are believed to include K2 Law, Matt Davis, Esq., or Mass Litigation Alliance, and their affiliates, associates and Ambassadors. It is important to note that the posts are not from clients of Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. Additional specific information from Mitchell J. Stein, Esq., regarding these false and defamatory postings can be found here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20110317/bs_prweb/prweb8214976_3.
We welcome any legitimate comments or inquiries about Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. and MJS & Associates and will gladly and personally respond to them. If you are a client of Mitchell J. Stein, Esq. or for immediate assistance or information, please call 720-290-5212 or visit the MJS & Associates website at www.mjsteinassociates.com.
Scam Alert everybody - these guys are pitching everyone that they can eliminate your mortgage or reduce it to 80% of value - what a crock. Read what the California Department of Real Estate has to say about their wonderful lawsuit or go to this link: http://www.dre.ca.gov/pdf_docs/ca/ConsumeAlert_WarningreMassLitigation.pdf
California Department of Real Estate
** CONSUMER ALERT **
FRAUD WARNING REGARDING LAWSUIT MARKETERS REQUESTING UPFRONT
FEES FOR SO-CALLED “MASS JOINDER” OR CLASS LITIGATION PROMISING
EXTRAORDINARY HOME MORTGAGE RELIEF
By Wayne S. Bell
Chief Counsel, California Department of Real Estate
I. HOME MORTGAGE RELIEF THROUGH LITIGATION (and “Too Good to Be True”
Claims Regarding Its Use to Avoid and/or Stop Foreclosure, Obtain Loan Principal
Reduction, and to Let You Have Your Home “Free and Clear” of Any Mortgage).
This alert is written to warn consumers about marketing companies, unlicensed entities,
lawyers, and so-called attorney-backed, attorney-affiliated, and lawyer referral entities
that offer and sell false hope and request the payment of upfront fees for so-called “mass
joinder” or class litigation that will supposedly result in extraordinary home mortgage
The California Department of Real Estate (“DRE” or “Department”) previously issued a
consumer alert and fraud warning on loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams in
California. That alert was followed by warnings and alerts regarding forensic loan audit
fraud, scams in connection with short sale transactions, false and misleading
designations and claims of special expertise, certifications and credentials in connection
with home loan relief services, and other real estate and home loan relief scams.
The Department continues to administratively prosecute those who engage in such fraud
and to work in collaboration with the California State Bar, the Federal Trade
Commission, and federal, State and local criminal law enforcement authorities to bring
such frauds to justice.
On October 11, 2009, Senate Bill 94 was signed into law in California, and it became
effective that day. It prohibited any person, including real estate licensees and attorneys,
from charging, claiming, demanding, collecting or receiving an upfront fee from a
homeowner borrower in connection with a promise to modify the borrower’s residential
loan or some other form of mortgage loan forbearance.
Senate Bill 94’s prohibitions seem to have significantly impacted the rampant fraud that
was occurring and escalating with respect to the payment of upfront fees for loan
Also, forensic loan auditors must now register with the California Department of Justice
and cannot accept payments in advance for their services under California law once a
Notice of Default has been recorded. There are certain exceptions for lawyers and real
estate brokers. 2
On January 31, 2011, an important and broad advance fee ban issued by the Federal
Trade Commission became effective and outlaws providers of mortgage assistance relief
services from requesting or collecting advance fees from a homeowner.
Discussions about Senate Bill 94, the Federal advance fee ban, and the Consumer
Alerts of the DRE, are available on the DRE’s website at www.dre.ca.gov.
Lawyer Exemption from the Federal Advance Fee Ban --
The advance fee ban issued by the Federal Trade Commission includes a narrow and
conditional carve out for attorneys.
If lawyers meet the following four conditions, they are generally exempt from the rule:
1. They are engaged in the practice of law, and mortgage assistance relief is part of
2. They are licensed in the State where the consumer or the dwelling is located.
3. They are complying with State laws and regulations governing the “same type of
conduct the [FTC] rule requires”.
4. They place any advance fees they collect in a client trust account and comply with
State laws and regulations covering such accounts. This requires that client funds
be kept separate from the lawyers' personal and/or business funds until such time
as the funds have been earned.
It is important to note that the exemption for lawyers discussed above does not allow
lawyers to collect money upfront for loan modifications or loan forbearance services,
which advance fees are banned by the more restrictive California Senate Bill 94.
But those who continue to prey on and victimize vulnerable homeowners have not given
up. They just change their tactics and modify their sales pitches to keep taking
advantage of those who are desperate to save their homes. And some of the frauds
seeking to rip off desperate homeowners are trying to use the lawyer exemption above to collect
advance fees for mortgage assistance relief litigation.
This alert and warning is issued to call to your attention the often overblown and
exaggerated “sales pitch(es)” regarding the supposed value of questionable
“Mass Joinder” or Class Action Litigation.
Whether they call themselves Foreclosure Defense Experts, Mortgage Loan Litigators,
Living Free and Clear experts, or some other official, important or impressive sounding
title(s), individuals and companies are marketing their services in the State of California
and on the Internet. They are making a wide variety of claims and sales pitches,
and offering impressive sounding legal and litigation services, with quite
extraordinary remedies promised, with the goal of taking and getting some of your
While there are lawyers and law firms which are legitimate and qualified to handle
complex class action or joinder litigation, you must be cautious and BEWARE. And
certainly check out the lawyers on the State Bar website and via other means, as
discussed below in Section III.
II. QUESTIONABLE AND/OR FALSE CLAIMS OF THE SO-CALLED MORTGAGE LOAN
DEFENSE OR “MASS JOINDER” AND CLASS LITIGATORS.
A. What are the Claims/Sales Pitches?
They are many and varied, and include:
1. You can join in a mass joinder or class action lawsuit already filed against your
lender and stay in your home. You can stop paying your lender.
2. The mortgage loans can be stripped entirely from your home.
3. Your payment obligation and foreclosure against your home can be stopped when
the lawsuit is filed.
4. The litigation will take the power away from your lender.
5. A jury will side with you and against your lender.
6. The lawsuit will give you the leverage you need to stay in your home.
7. The lawsuit may give you the right to rescind your home loan, or to reduce your
8. The lawsuit will help you modify your home loan. It will give you a step up in the
loan modification process.
9. The litigation will be performed through “powerful” litigation attorney
10. Litigation attorneys are “turning the tables on lenders and getting cash settlements
In one Internet advertisement, the marketing materials say, “the damages sought in your
behalf are nothing less than a full lien strip or in otherwords [sic] a free and clear house if
the bank can’t produce the documents they own the note on your home. Or at the very
least, damages could be awarded that would reduce the principal balance of the note on
your home to 80% of market value, and give you a 2% interest rate for the life of the
Please don’t be fooled by slick come-ons by scammers who just want your money. Some
of the claims above might be true in a particular case, based on the facts and evidence
presented before a Court or a jury, or have a ring or hint of truth, but you must carefully
examine and analyze each and every one of them to determine if filing a lawsuit against
your lender or joining a class or mass joinder lawsuit will have any value for you and your
situation. Be particularly skeptical of all such claims, since agreeing to participate in 4
such litigation may require you to pay for legal or other services, often before any legal
work is performed (e.g., a significant upfront retainer fee is required).
The reality is that litigation is time-consuming (with formal discovery such as
depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admissions,
motions, and the like), expensive, and usually vigorously defended. There can be
no guarantees or assurances with respect to the outcome of a lawsuit.
Even if a lender or loan owner defendant were to lose at trial, it can appeal, and the
entire process can take years. Also, there is no statistical or other competent data
that supports the claims that a mass joinder and class action lawsuit, even if
performed by a licensed, legitimate and trained lawyer(s), will provide the
remedies that the marketers promise.
There are two other important points to be made here:
First, even assuming that the lawyers can identify fraud or other legal violations
performed by your lender in the loan origination process, your loan may be owned by an
investor – that is, someone other than your lender. The investor will most assuredly
argue that your claims against your originating lender do not apply against the investor
(the purchaser of your loan). And even if your lender still owns the loan, they are not
legally required, absent a court judgment or order, to modify your loan or to halt the
foreclosure process if you are behind in your payments. If they happen to lose the
lawsuit, they can appeal, as noted above. Also, the violations discovered may be minor
or inconsequential, which will not provide for any helpful remedies.
Second, and very importantly, loan modifications and other types of foreclosure relief are
simply not possible for every homeowner, and the “success rate” is currently very low in
California. This is where the lawsuit marketing scammers come in and try to convince
you that they offer you “a leg up”. They falsely claim or suggest that they can guarantee
to stop a foreclosure in its tracks, leave you with a home “free and clear” of any
mortgage loan(s), make lofty sounding but hollow promises, exaggerate or make bold
statements regarding their litigation successes, charge you for a retainer, and leave you
with less money.
III. THE KEY HERE IS FOR YOU TO BE ON GUARD AND CHECK THE LAWYERS OUT
(Know Who You Are or May Be Dealing With) - Do Your Own Homework (Avoid
The Traps Set by the Litigation Marketing Frauds).
Before entering into an attorney-client relationship, or paying for “legal” or litigation
services, ascertain the name of the lawyer or lawyers who will be providing the services.
Then check them out on the State Bar's website, at www.calbar.ca.gov. Make certain
that they are licensed by the State Bar of California. If they are licensed, see if they have
been disciplined. 5
Check them out through the Better Business Bureau to see if the Bureau has received
any complaints about the lawyer, law firm or marketing firm offering the services (and
remember that only lawyers can provide legal services). And please understand that this
is just another resource for you to check, as the litigation services provider might be so
new that the Better Business Bureau may have little or nothing on them (or something
positive because of insufficient public input).
Check them out through a Google or related search on the Internet. You may be
amazed at what you can and will find out doing such a search. Often consumers
who have been scammed will post their experiences, insights, and warnings long
before any criminal, civil or administrative action has been brought against the
Also, ask them lots of specific, detailed questions about their litigation experience, clients
and successful results. For example, you should ask them how many mortgage-related
joinder or class lawsuits they have filed and handled through settlement or trial. Ask
them for pleadings they have filed and news stories about their so-called successes. Ask
them for a list of current and past “satisfied” clients. If they provide you with a list, call
those people and ask those former clients if they would use the lawyer or law firm again.
Ask the lawyers if they are class action or joinder litigation specialists and ask them what
specialist qualifications they have. Then ask what they will actually do for you (what
specific services they will be providing and for what fees and costs). Get that in writing,
and take the time to fully understand what the attorney-client contract says and what the
end result will be before proceeding with the services. Remember to always ask for and
demand copies of all documents that you sign.
Mortgage rescue frauds are extremely good at selling false hope to consumers in trouble
with regard to home loans. The scammers continue to adapt and to modify their
schemes as soon as their last ones became ineffective. Promises of successes through
mass joinder or class litigation are now being marketed.
Please be careful, do your own diligence to protect yourself, and be highly suspect if
anyone asks you for money up front before doing any service on your behalf. Most
importantly, DON’T LET FRAUDS TAKE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY.
Receive a Mailer for a Mass Joinder case against your lender, or been solicited in any way about Mass Joinder suit versus your lender?
Please Contact the California Bar Association
"We are interested in anyone who has been solicited to join the mass joinder cases. Even better, would be people who actually paid money to these organizations." - California Bar Association
Brookstone Law Mass Joinder Complaint Hotline: 1-800-843-9053
or 1-213-765-1200 (outside California)
I am someone :)
My name is John Wright AND I AM FIGHTING BACK!
Well looky looky -the government did it for free:
Gov't orders 14 lenders to reimburse homeowners
Looks like Vito and Kutzner's $5, 895 a pop theft-ride is over! WOOHOO!!!
Well looky here! You are all over posting this all over the web! (lol) Just like a troll who is working!
I do have to admit……. the one who said "Crookstone law" did make me laugh (tongue in cheek) Even I have to admire that wit (lol)
My name is blah, blah, blah AND I JUST FOUGHT BACK!
I have unfortunately had hired Brookstone law, Vito, Daron Colby, and the whole gang. Wow all i got was the run around, lied to, and completely scammed. after hiring Brookstone to represent me in my unlawful detainer, all i got was absolutely nothing from the company. They didnt even show up to court for me. then they advised me to hire them for an advarsary complaint and bankruptcy, after doing absolutely nothing for me, they advised me to file a lawsuit in federal court. Why I took their advise, I have no Idea except the fact that it was complete desperation. when i realized I had been scammed, I fired Daron Colby as my attorney so I could bring on actual council and representation. Brookstone dropped my lawsuit, without my concent, forcing me to start over. through the procedd, my family was evicted, my life was destroyed. So much time had passed after the Brookstone run around, it made it more difficult to get my case heard. luckily I did not give up and will be moving back home. Brookstone will be held accountable for the pain they caused my family. In my opinion they are on bank payroll and are in the business of preying on homeowners in need of representation. In hindsight I wish I had never heard of, Met, hired, or dealt with Brookstone law...I am going back home this week and fully intent to hold Brookstone law accountable for the pain they caused my family. BROOKSTONE LAW, VITO, DARON COLBY, RICHARD, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. I will see you soon.