Attorney general investigating lawsuits pitched to distressed homeowners

The Florida attorney general’s office is investigating the use of mass joinder lawsuits marketed to homeowners facing foreclosure, a new practice that got a California lawyer with ties to a prominent Tallahassee lobbyist shut down earlier this month.

Homeowners in 17 states, including Florida, received mailers from companies connected to California attorney Philip Kramer telling them they could join in lawsuits against banks for a retainer fee of between $5,000 and $10,000, according to a complaint filed earlier this month by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The complaint says homeowners were misled to join the suits with promises of “prompt mortgage relief.” Unlike class-action lawsuits that treat plaintiffs as a single entity, mass joinder’s use hundreds of individually named plaintiffs with varying circumstances. Also, attorneys typically do not ask for fees upfront in class action suits.

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fluidideas@gmail.com

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