What Does the State Bar of CA, the CA Dept. of Real Estate & Landlord UDR All Have in Common?

They all wanted to prevent Journalist, Erin Baldwin, from publishing the truth about their intentional fraud against consumers in foreclosure and residential tenants. Read this and learn the price you will pay of telling the truth in California.
May 2, 2012 - PRLog -- Erin K. Baldwin's investigative reports and journalistic articles made public the individual and collective responsibility and liability of the State Bar of California, the California Department of Real Estate, and Landlord / REIT, UDR, Inc. (as well as members and executives of each) for intentional fraud against  (a) California residential tenants; and (b) consumers in foreclosure.  

These state entities, UDR, and county and local agencies who helped them, wanted to silence Baldwin's speech because they feared devastating financial consequences.

In addition to her reports and articles, Erin Baldwin began to form groups of consumers and residential tenants in order to organize a united petition for redress.  

The first group comprised consumers harmed by loan modification fraud perpetrated by attorney members of the California State Bar and real estate members of the California Dept. of Real Estate.  Baldwin's goal was to file a Petition for Writ of Mandate with the California Supreme Court demanding restitution for these consumers from the State Bar of California through its Client Security Fund; and from the Dept. of Real Estate through its Client Recovery Account.  

The second group comprised UDR tenants who had been harmed by the illegal California leases of UDR.  Here, Baldwin's goal was to form a class action lawsuit to make restitution for the harm to UDR's residential tenants.

These state entities, UDR, and county and local agencies who helped them, wanted to cut Baldwin off from these groups because they were growing very quickly.  Baldwin had reached nearly 185,000 consumers on her blog in only five months and again, they feared devastating financial consequences.

What Were Erin Baldwin's Reports About?

Beginning in late 2008, Baldwin noticed a series of events unfolding that appeared to be intentional fraud against California residential tenants and consumers in foreclosure. It was.  Time has demonstrated that Erin Baldwin's reports and articles were right; what her adversaries knew all along and what fueled their actions.

Baldwin's motivation was not to hurt anybody, rather to protect consumers and tenants.  She never made a penny from this work; rather, asked those interested in donating to pay it forward and help someone else for free.

The "series of events" Baldwin reported on follows:

1.   An unusually high number of Californians qualifying for "no down-payment, 1-, 3- and 5-year interest-only" sub-prime mortgage loans they could not afford.

2.   An equally high number of mortgage loan defaults occurring following the "interest only" period resulting in record-breaking foreclosure statistics.    

3.   A corresponding increase in the number of residential tenants flowing into the California apartment market causing an escalation of landlord-tenant fraud.   
4.   A significant number of vulnerable homeowners desperate to save their homes from foreclosure and an equal amount of unqualified "experts" eager to take their money and capitalize on their misfortune.

5.   A hopelessly flawed, unenforced and ill-conceived consumer safeguard called "The California Foreclosure Consultants Act" ("CFCA") codified in California Civil Code ยง2945, et seq.

6.   An intentional and premeditated "loophole" in the CFCA that prohibited all loan modification service providers (except California State Bar-licensed attorneys) from taking fees in advance of work performed.         

7.   A rush of "non-attorneys," primarily California Department of Real Estate-licensed subprime mortgage brokers unlawfully associating with California State Bar-licensed attorneys with the express intent of circumventing the CFCA "loophole."  

8.   An unprecedented number of newly-formed law firms offering foreclosure rescue services advertised as "attorney-based law firms" with no lawyers on staff.

9.   An inherent and justifiable reliance on the fact that when one hires a "law firm" that the work will be performed by an experienced and qualified lawyer; coupled with the reality that the work was performed by "non-lawyers" with no experience reviewing loan documents for error in order to evaluate and assert the proper and required affirmative defenses to effectively negotiate a loan modification with a lender.  

10.   An appalling lack of consumer protection by the California State Bar and California Department of Real Estate, both required by law to protect consumers by (ii) enforcing their respective professional rules of conduct; (ii) disciplining their members when they break the rules, and (ii) making prompt restitution to the clients of the rule-breaking members through their respective consumer protection programs, the "Client Security Fund" and "Recovery Account," respectively.

11.   A historic rise in unemployment rates caused by big corporation lay-offs and small business failure.

l2.   A freeze on consumer and business credit and decline in home values.

13.   A bailout for the banks who intentionally sold unconscionable subprime mortgage loans utilizing bad faith predatory tactics to induce consumers mesmerized by the political speeches promising the "American Dream for All."

14.   No bailout for the consumers who bought the unconscionable subprime mortgage loans "guaranteed to make the American Dream a reality," resulting in catastrophic poverty rates, a rise in the number of bankruptcy filings, and record growth in the homeless population.

15.   "Too little, too late" legislation enacted in late 2009 (Senate Bill 94) that prohibited all loan modification service providers, including attorneys, from taking fees in advance of work performed.  

16.   In theory, Senate Bill 94 gave California state agencies and officials four years to resolve all outstanding consumer claims and put into place consumer protection programs before it expired on January 1, 2013.  

17.   Thousands of consumer claims still exist and no legitimate programs have been put into place to counteract the inevitable.  Senate Bill 94 will expire at the same time existing 3- and 5-year interest only loan schedules expire.

18.   Then history will repeat itself, which means new mesmerizing political speeches; new and improved task forces that do nothing but conceal official misconduct (which misconduct caused the vicious cycle in the first place), new names for old companies ready to defraud consumers again, and a new set of consumers eager for the American Dream.

19.   Astonishing wealth was amassed by a few at the expense of many.  Baldwin's Writings championed returning the wealth to the consumers, but "the few" had other ideas.    

On January 26, 2009, Parsa Law Group (a subject of Baldwin's blog pertaining to loan modification fraud) sued an anonymous blog.  The Complaint was entitled, Parsa Law Group, APC v. Bad Biz Finder, an unknown business entity.  However, this strategic lawsuit against public participation was actually on behalf of the State Bar of CA & CA Dept. of Real Estate.  Unable to bring action against Baldwin directly (she is neither an attorney nor real estate professional) these two state agencies used the Parsa Law Group case to retaliate against Baldwin for exposing its fraud.  

Erin Baldwin was never legally added as a defendant in this case, and as such, the court never had jurisdiction over her.  Nonetheless, On June 2, 2009, Judge Franz E. Miller entered a permanent injunction against Baldwin representing an unconstitutional prior restraint of protected speech. Baldwin's blog was shut down shortly thereafter.  Even though Judge Miller knew Baldwin was indigent on a fee waiver,  he also ordered a monetary judgment against Baldwin in the amount of $604,515.66 to prevent her from hiring an anti-SLAPP attorney on contingency for her appeal.

This case was followed by 40 more and can be view here: tinyurl.com/7wh2ejb

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