A suspended, bankrupt California lawyer need not pay the nearly $6,000 she improperly charged a client for residential mortgage modification services, the Ninth Circuit ruled.
When a client identified in court documents only as "Clark" retained Irvine, Calif.-based attorney Marilyn Scheer to help modify his home mortgage loan in 2010, he paid her $5,500 before any change occurred.
But Clark soon fired Scheer and tried to get his money back under California's mandatory attorney fee arbitration program.
The arbitrator found in 2011 that although Scheer had good intentions, she violated state law by receiving advanced fees for residential mortgage modification services, so she must return the improperly collected fees, plus the $275 arbitration filing fee, for a total of $5,775.
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