Three years after our investigation, victims of foreclosure rescue company U.S. Loan Auditors may finally see some of their money back. Victim Jenny Lawson now lives in an R.V. on her parent's land in remote Yuba County. She never expected the trailer would become her home.
"The life I knew is completely different than the life I know now," she said.
When we first met Jenny and her husband Tim three years ago, they were still living in their Elk Grove house, relying on Rancho Cordova based U.S. Loan Auditors to save it. The company advertised through television and mailers suggesting they could take legal action against lenders. After claiming to find fraud in the Lawson's loan documents with their lender, Jenny says U.S. Loan Auditors and sister company My U.S. Legal told them to quit making their house payment. Like so many others, the Lawson's paid the company thousands of dollars to help modify their loan and keep them in their house. They ended up on the street.
Then Attorney General Jerry Brown called U.S. Loan Auditors a scam and sued them for 60-million dollars.
"It's not an honest practice and we're putting a stop to it," Brown told us in 2010.
Shortly after, the company closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy. One of the owners, Attorney James Sandison was stripped of his license to practice law in California. The State Bar has a fund called the Client Security Fund attorneys pay into each year as part of their licensing fees.
It's there to reimburse consumers if they become victims of an attorney being dishonest. We've learned the fund has paid out $312,000 to victims of James Sandison and U.S. Loan Auditors. Jenny Lawson says she and Tim just received their check for a full refund.
We're learning even more money is about to be paid to victims. Sacramento attorney Eric Mercer filed a class action case against U.S. Loan Auditors. Now a million dollar payout as part of a settlement with insurance money will be spread among up to two thousand victims. The checks could start going out next month.
"To get money back for victims feels great because a lot of times in these foreclosure rescue cases, there's no insurance, there's no assets, because they spend all the money," Mercer said.
Three years after being forced from her three bedroom home into an R.V., Jenny Lawson says she hopes one day to become a homeowner again.
"That's my goal," she said.
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