William Lee and Associates - William S. Lee & Associates are an outright scam
We would like to report the following information and ask for a formal investigation of William S. Lee & Associates (Real estate broker) and Tim McFarlin, LLP (law firm) for clear false advertising, improper business associations between lawyers and non-lawyers, running and capping, and the unlawful practice of law. The matters are clearly documented on the William S. Lee websites (links and text below):
Please put a stop to this immediately. People are being deceived and harmed by these fraudulent practices.
I just lost my home to foreclosure because of these people and their scams.
1. Website links and marketing claim:http://www.wsl-associates.com/successful_closing.asphttp://www.shortsaleforcash.com/index.html
SUCCESSFUL CASESTake a look at some of the successful transactions we've secured for local homeowners just like you. With hundreds of real estate short sales and loan modifications to our credit, you have our assurance your negotiations will be handled by experts.
[list excluded, but contained on the site and sent in direct marketing mailers]
Disclaimer: Merges [sic] and acquisitions [sic] include Bank of America with Countrywide and Merrill Lynch; JPMorgan CHASE with Washington Mutual, Bank one, Bear Stearns; Onewest Bank with Indymac Mortgage; Wells Fargo with Wachovia and World Savings. The list contains combined successful transactions from McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. The "Successful transactions" imply to the release of lender's approval letter by servicers, and does not necessarily imply to the closings. Modified interest rate may be permanent, temporary and adjustable after the trial period given by lender. Modified interest rate is rounded to 1/10th of 1%.
IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAW FIRM AND FALSE ADVERTISING: they are combining the work of a law firm into their claims of success. They also have team members showing that they are lawyers or owners of a law firm called McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. See the following from the website:
http://www.wsl-associates.com/aboutus.aspMark J. Schmidt "" General Partner
As a General Partner of William S. Lee & Associates, Mr. Schmidt's firm McFarlin & Schmidt LLP has provided invaluable support in helping our clients navigate the complexities of short sale and loan modification transactions through its relationships with major lenders. Under his leadership, his firm successfully processed and negotiated over 200 loan modifications and short sales for top realtors from Coldwell Banker, ReMax, Century 21, Seven Gables, First Team Real Estate, and more.
IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAW FIRM: Clearly, William S. Lee is connecting the "General Partner" of William S. Lee & Associates with the law firm of McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. This is some type of business arrangement that is not clear from the advertising. Therefore, it is also false advertising. This again raises the specter of running and capping and/or illegal legal fee splitting (or illegal commission splitting).
http://www.wsl-associates.com/aboutus.aspRaymond J. Seo "" Attorney at Law, Bankruptcy
For those of our clients considering bankruptcy, we are pleased to offer the services and consultancy of Raymond Seo, one of Orange County's most knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys who also consist of an extensive network of bankruptcy attorneys in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. As a member of the California Bar since 2001, Mr. Seo plays a hands-on roll to ensure your case is handled effectively.
Each case is advised, analyzed, reviewed and represented by Mr. Seo personally.Mr. Seo is committed to resolving your current financial crisis and helping you get on with your life by providing exemplary legal services in an understanding environment. Mr. Seo is a B.A. graduate of the University of California, Irvine and, a J.D. graduate of Loyola Marymount School of Law.
IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAWYER: William S. Lee claims to be "offering the services" of a bankruptcy lawyer. This is not shown as a referral, and, in fact, a number of consumers have stated that the bankruptcy lawyer was presented as part of the brokerage. Fee splitting? Legal solicitation? Running and capping?
2. Website link and marketing claim: http://www.shortsaleforcash.com/aboutus.html
With over 300 distressed property transactions to our credit, we're ready to explain programs, explore options and answer any questions you might have.
FALSE CLAIM: They do not have "over 300 distressed property transactions" "" there is no evidence to back this up anywhere. In fact, on the next page of the website, they actually state that this number is "combined successful transaction from McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP." That's a law firm. And this brokerage is somehow taking credit for transactions completed by a lawyer. This claim is included in ALL mail solicitations from William S. Lee & Associates. There is also evidence here of possible capping and running.
3. Website link and marketing pitch:
http://www.shortsaleforcash.com/incentives.htmlCASH SELLER INCENTIVESUp to $35,000 CASH! That's right! Our clients are receiving large cash incentives for successfully short selling their homes. In an effort to expedite the short sale process, major lenders have recently awarded several of our clients as much as $35,000 for the successful closing of their short sales. But wait, there's more; our clients are guaranteed to receive a minimum cash incentive of $3,000 or, 1% of the sales price of the home (whichever is higher) when you short sell with us. If we don't get you the money directly from your lender, we will pay you from our earned commission!http://www.wsl-associates.com/shortsalesellerincentives.asp
That's right! Our clients are guaranteed to receive a minimum cash incentive of $3,000 or, 1% of the sales price (whichever is higher) when you short sell your home with us. If we don't get you the money directly from your lender, we will pay you from our earned commission!
When entering into a Short Sale transaction managed by the WSL Team, you are guaranteed to receive a seller incentive equal to 1% of the sale price upon closing (limited to $9,900 per transaction).
The only qualifications we require are :that the homeowner has not recently filed bankruptcy and,there are no more than two "different" lien holders on the property. [[comment: this hints of BANK FRAUD]]
We're very proud to offer this incentive and understand this money can be a big help planning your next move.
FALSE ADVERTISING AND SUSPICION OF BANK FRAUD: All banks require an Arm's Length Affidavit in every short sale which clearly states that the seller is not to receive any proceeds from the transaction and the brokers are not paying the seller any money. Right on this website, Lee is making a guaranty of 1% or $3,000. He knows this can't be done and yet he is advertising it everywhere including in all his direct mail solicitations. Further, the "qualification" that there are no more than two different lien holders on the property is a clear indication of bank fraud. Why is William S. Lee's guaranty of cash at closing subject to how many lien holders there are? If the money comes from the commission, then the lien holder count is irrelevant. This is significant evidence of FRAUD or a complete deception of the consumer who will be told that it can't be paid at closing because of the Arm's Length Affidavit.
4. Website link and legal solicitation:
While there are many options available to distressed homeowners, maximizing benefit to our clients is the goal of every solution we recommend. If you would like to explore possible solutions or think you might be a candidate for bankruptcy, please contact us today. Our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys will review your options with you and answer any questions you might have.
Chapter 7 is the most frequently selected kind of bankruptcy for individuals as it is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy. Note that Chapter 7 does not excuse homeowners from paying the mortgage. A debtor who wants to keep her home must continue to pay the mortgage. It is also very important to note that filing a Chapter 7 petition will not ultimately prevent a bank from foreclosing if payments are delinquent.
Please visit WSL Library to find out if Ch.7 Bankruptcy can save your home.
PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE, LEGAL SERVICES AND LEGAL SOLICITATION. It is illegal for a non-attorney to solicit for legal clients. The language above is a clear solicitation of bankruptcy clientele. We believe that the real estate agents are fee splitting with the bankruptcy attorney that works out of their office (Raymond J. Seo). Further, the language above is clear: "OUR SEASONED BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS" will review your options and answer your questions. This is shown as a service of William S. Lee & Associates.