Florida Foreclosure Attorney is Disbarred – Another One Bites The Dust
This time it is Fort Lauderdale attorney William Timothy O’Toole. The Florida Attorney General sued the Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modification operation that O’Toole ran.
The Florida State Supreme court disbarred him this week. The disbarrment must last at least 5 years.
In April he was suspended in what is called an “emergency suspension” on the allegation that his business was causing “great public harm”. This is what the court order said.
The name of his company is “O’Toole’s Summit Legal Group” and is in Boca Raton Florida. This company employed sales people who would make calls to homeowners all over the country not just here in Florida. He worked with at least 3,000 clients according to the court order.
These salespeople would charge up front fees of $2,000 to $3,000 and promised to save struggling homeowners from foreclosure. But the law suit says, that this attorney and his company did little to nothing to work on the cases. There are dozens of complaints by homeowners who paid this money and got nothing in return. These complaints went to the Florida Attorney General.
O’Toole has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1992. He has been involved in 20 bar complaints.
In October the Florida Attorney General got a court order to shut down his operation.
The disbarment order also says that O’Toole became partners with a non-attorney named Randy Baker and split his fees with him which is against bar rules.
The order also says that O’Toole led clients to believe that he was handling their cases when in fact, people he hired who had NO legal training were the ones taking care of his clients.
This happens alot where the attorney becomes partners with someone who is not an attorney since the law passed here in Florida stating that only attorneys can accept upfront fees from a client for a loan modification. But attorneys can only charge those fees if they are a part of a bigger case.
We know attorneys who are approached often with these sorts of scenarios. The attorneys we know say this is unethical and they run away from those people who are trying to circumvent the law.
The Florida Bar came out to warn attorneys about joining forces with non-legal businesses who are trying to skirt the law forbidding taking the upfront fees.
Katerina Gasset is the author of http://www.wellingtonfloridashortsales.com. Katerina Gasset is the homeschool mother of 9 children and wife to Nestor Gasset. Katerina Gasset is also a writer, author, speaker, Realtor®, SEO coach, blogging coach and business entrepreneur and consultant.