Mass Joinder Receivership
Questions for the Receiver?  Send them to info@massjoinderreceiver.com.

Update – August 17, 2015 – The Receiver has posted Final Schedule of Approved Claims

 

The Receiver has today posted the Final Schedule of Approved Claims which can be accessed from the Documents section to the right.  This Final Schedule reflects the Receiver’s review of any additional documents that were submitted and his determination of any timely appeals submitted after the posting of the Preliminary Schedule.  1,707 claims were approved from a total of 2,507 submitted claims (excluding duplicates).  Each approved claim will receive approximately $350 as their per capita share of the Net Restitution Fund.  We project that the distributions will be sent in late September after the Court rules on the Receiver’s application to approve expenses and distribute the Net Restitution Fund.

 

If your claim is not on this schedule, it means that your claim was denied.  All decisions of the Receiver are final.  Please do not communicate further with the Receiver’s office. The claims review process is now over.

 

The Preliminary Schedule posted July 20, 2015 assigned one of five categories for each denial.  Many claims failed to recognize that a claim would be denied if the services provided were not mass joinder litigation (for example, were for bankruptcy or basic loan modification) and/or were not provided by one of the Attorney Defendants named in this case.

 

We remind all claimants that this Restitution Program is entirely separate from the State Bar’s Client Security Fund (“CSF”).  The Receiver’s decision on your claim to this Restitution Fund has no effect, positive or negative, on any claim you may have to recover from the CSF, except that any recovery here may be deducted from the amount of your claim to CSF.

 


Ju
ly 20, 2015

Restitution Program - Preliminary Schedule of Approved and Denied Claims

 

The Receiver has posted the Preliminary Schedule of Approved and Denied Claims.

 

Important Reminders:  We must make two very important reminders and clarifications about this Restitution Program:

 

1.  The Restitution Program is separate from The California State Bar’s Client Security Fund (“CSF”).  The Receiver’s decision on your claim in this Restitution Program will have no impact, positive or negative, on the State Bar’s determination on any claim filed with the CSF.  The one exception is that the amount recovered from CSF will be reduced by the amount of distributions received from the Restitution Program.

 

2.  Distributions will be per capita and are estimated at $325-$400 each.  The Net Restitution Fund (approximately $650,000) is not large relative to the number of claimants (approximately 2,800).  That is why the Court determined that the payout will be made on a per capita basis.  Each approved claimant will receive the same amount, which will be calculated by dividing the funds available by the number of approved claimants.  Based on the current number of approved claims, the per capita payments will be approximately $325 to $400 each.

 

Approved Claims.  If your claim has been approved, you do not need to take any further action at this time.  Distributions to approved claimants will be made after the Court approves the Final Schedule of Approved Claims.

 

Appeal of Denied Claims.  Any claimant whose claim is denied may appeal that decision by submitting a written objection to the Receiver by August 3, 2015 – objections may be sent by U.S. Mail (addressed to Restitution Fund, 501 West Broadway, Suite 2020, San Diego, CA 92101, postmarked by August 3, 2015 or by email to claims@massjoinderreceiver.com, sent by 11:59 p.m. on August 3, 2015.


Further directions as to appeals are described in the document “Appeal of Denied Claims” posted on the screen at the right.  Untimely appeals will not be considered.

 

Final Schedule of Approved Claims.  The Receiver will post a Final Schedule of Approved Claims on this website on August 17, 2015.  All decisions of the Receiver are final.  Within 14 days after that posting, the Receiver will file a motion with the Court for approval of the Final Schedule and approval to disburse the Net Restitution Fund.



June 5, 2015 - NOTICE RE: E-MAIL DISRUPTION

Due to a technical glitch, the info@massjoinderreceiver.com and claims@massjoinderreceiver.com emailboxes were not able to accept new messages beginning sometime on June 4, 2015.  The problem has been resolved.  If you sent your Claim Form by email and it came back as undeliverable, please resend your Claim Form and documentation asap, if possible, including the emailed error message you received. 


April 30, 2015 - NOTICE OF RECEIVERSHIP RESTITUTION PROGRAM

 

TO APPLY FOR RESTITUTION FROM THE MASS JOINDER RECEIVERSHIP,

SUBMIT CLAIM FORM BY JUNE 4, 2015

CLICK HERE FOR THE CLAIM FORM

 

The Court in the California Attorney General’s case against the mass joinder attorneys and telemarketers has approved procedures for the Receiver to administer a Restitution Program for victims of mass joinder fraud.  This program has also been approved by the Courts in the separate actions brought by the State Bar of California to assume jurisdiction over the law practices of the Attorney Defendants.  Click here to read the Court’s Order, entered April 20, 2015.  This program is separate from the State Bar’s Client Security Fund as described below.

 

In summary, the procedures for the Receivership Restitution Program are:

 

  1. Notice.  The Receiver will post Notice of this program on this website and will send Notices, and a Claim Form, by U.S. Mail to the State Bar’s database of consumers whose names have appeared in the records of the mass joinder attorneys, to additional consumers who have, to date, filed claims against the Attorney Defendants with the State Bar’s Client Security Fund, and to other consumers reasonably known by the Receiver to have paid a fee to secure the services of an Attorney Defendant in connection with mass joinder litigation. 

 

  1. Who is Eligible?  You are eligible if you paid a fee to secure the services of one of the Attorney Defendants in connection with mass joinder lawsuits.  The Attorney Defendants are identified in the Order as Philip A. Kramer (dba Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow), Mitchell J. Stein (dba Mitchell J. Stein & Associates); Christopher Van Son (dba Law Offices of Christopher Van Son, Consolidated Litigation Group, and Van Son Law Group); Paul Petersen (dba Mesa Law Group Corp and Petersen Legal Services); and Anthony Kassas (dba Law offices of Anthony Kassas and Kassas Law Group).

 

  1. Claim Form.  Claimants must submit, by U.S. Mail (addressed to “Mass Joinder Restitution Fund, c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, P.O. Box 8060, San Rafael, CA 94912-8060”) or email (claims@massjoinderreceiver.com), a completed Claim Form and supporting documents to the Receiver by June 4, 2015.  Click here to download a Claim Form.  Details and deadlines for mailing and emailing are contained on the Claim Form.  This deadline will be extended by 30 days if the Receiver’s initial mailed Notice is returned as undeliverable.

 

  1. Review and Decision.  By July 19, 2015, the Receiver will post on the Receiver’s website a Preliminary Schedule of Approved Claims and shall send email notice to all Claimants that the Preliminary Schedule has been posted. 

 

    1. For any claim that is denied by the Receiver and not included in the Preliminary Schedule of Approved Claims, the denied Claimant may appeal that decision by submitting a written objection by U.S. Mail or email to the Receiver within fourteen (14) days after the Preliminary Schedule is posted.

 

    1. The Receiver shall review any submitted objections and file with the Court and post on the Receiver’s website a Final Schedule of Approved Claims within twenty-eight (28) days after the date on which the Preliminary Schedule is posted.  All decisions of the Receiver set forth in the Final Schedule of Approved Claims shall be final.

 

  1. Payment.  Upon Court approval, the Receiver will distribute the entire Restitution Fund, less approved expenses, to all approved Claimants on a per capita basis, except that such payment shall not exceed the amount of fees actually paid by the Claimant. 

 

If you have specific questions about the Receivership Restitution Program, please send inquiries to Mass Joinder Restitution Fund Inquiries, c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, P.O. Box 8060, San Rafael, CA 94912-8060 or info@massjoinderreceiver.com

 

You May Also Submit a Separate Claim to the State Bar’s Client Security Fund.

 

The Receivership Restitution Program is separate from the California State Bar’s Client Security Fund (“CSF”).  However, funds distributed from the Receivership Restitution Program may affect awards that consumers may receive from CSF.  While consumers may be eligible to receive funds from both the Receivership Restitution Program and CSF, CSF exercises sole discretion to distribute funds to qualified applicants.  For further information on CSF, go to: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/ClientSecurityFund.aspx.  (In the sidebar, see “Related Topics” and “Client Security Fund Application.”)



March 6, 2015 – Hearing on Restitution Program Continued to April 13, 2015

 

The Receiver’s office has received notice from the Court that due to court scheduling issues, the hearing on the Joint Motion to Approve a Restitution Program has been continued to April 13, 2015. 

 

Due to recent address changes, please direct any inquiries to info@massjoinderreceiver.com and your email will be forwarded to the Receiver’s office.

 

January 27, 2015 - Receiver's Update

 

Mitchell Stein has now been sentenced in his criminal case in Florida.  He was sentenced to 204 months in federal prison.  The California Attorney General, the State Bar, and the Receiver have now jointly applied to the Court for approval of a Restitution Program.  That motion is set for hearing on March 12, 2015.  This plan, if approved, will be administered by the Receiver from funds remaining frozen in accounts of the Attorney Defendants.  Click here to read relevant parts of the motion which includes a description of the proposed plan.

If the Restitution Program is approved, the Receiver will commence implementation immediately.  Since the available fund is not large (approximately $600,000) and the projected number of claims is high, this restitution will not cover all amounts paid by clients to their attorney and will be paid out on a per capita basis. 

As reflected in our May 22, 2014 update, the State Bar Client Security Fund may provide another source of recovery.


November 11, 2014 – Receiver’s Update

 

The case has not yet concluded due to Mitchel Stein’s unrelated criminal case in Florida. That sentencing is now set for December. The California Attorney General and the State Bar have decided, nonetheless, to push forward. They will soon apply to the Court for approval of a Restitution Program. This plan, if approved, will be administered by the Receiver from funds remaining frozen in accounts of the Attorney Defendants. We will provide a link to the motion once it is filed.

 

If the Restitution Program is approved, the Receiver will commence implementation immediately. Since the available fund is not large (approximately $600,000) and the projected number of claims is high, this restitution will not cover all amounts paid by clients to their attorney and will be paid out on a per capita basis.

 

As reflected in our May 22, 2014 update, the State Bar Client Security Fund may provide another source of recovery.

 

 

May 22, 2014 – Restitution and Refunds Update

 

The Receiver’s office has received numerous inquiries about possible refunds of fees paid to attorneys involved in the mass joinder litigation. There are two potential sources for refunds or restitution:

 

1. Restitution Program to be Administered by the Receiver.

Although the case is not completely over, due to Mitchel Stein’s criminal case in Florida, the California Attorney General and the State Bar will apply to the Court for approval of a Restitution Program to be administered by the Receiver from funds collected from the frozen accounts of the Attorney Defendants. Since the available fund is not large and the projected number of claims is high, this restitution will not cover all amounts paid by clients to their attorney. Once the formal Motion is filed, it will be posted on this website.

 

2. State Bar Client Security Fund.

The Receivership Restitution Program is separate from the California State Bar’s Client Security Fund (“CSF”). However, funds distributed from the Receivership Restitution Program may affect awards that consumers may receive from CSF. While consumers may be eligible to receive funds from both the Receivership Restitution Program and CSF, CSF exercises sole discretion to distribute funds to qualified applicants. For further information on CSF, go to:

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/ClientSecurityFund.aspx. (In the sidebar, see “Related Topics” and “Client Security Fund Application.”)

 

 

October 7, 2013 - Receiver's Update

 

With the filing on September 30, 2013 of a Final Judgment as to Defendant Philip Kramer and the Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow, the underlying case filed by the California Attorney General is nearly complete. The only open issues relate to Defendant Mitchell Stein, who is presently incarcerated in Florida on unrelated federal securities charges. We anticipate that the case will be brought to a complete close in the next few months. At that time, the Receiver’s work will be done. As to possible procedures for refunds, please see the Receiver’s update of March 6, 2013 below.

 
 

March 6, 2013 – Response to Inquiries About Refund Procedures

 

The Receiver’s office has received many inquires as to whether any form of refunds will be available to consumers who paid to participate in the mass joinder cases. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, but we can provide the following general guidance.

 

State Bar Client Security Fund

The State Bar of California maintains a Client Security Fund which is funded by dues paid by licensed California lawyers. The purpose of the Fund is to reimburse clients who lose money due to a lawyer’s dishonest conduct. The Fund has its own rules and procedures as to whether, and in what amount, an application for reimbursement will be granted. For further details on how to file a claim with the Fund, go to the State Bar’s website at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/ClientSecurityFund.aspx.

 

Receivership

The receivership is totally separate and unrelated to the State Bar Client Security Fund. At the same time that the State Bar took possession of the law practices of the attorneys involved in mass joinder, the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the attorneys and other “Non-Attorney” Defendants who provided sales and marketing support to the attorneys. The Receiver was appointed to take over operations of the Non-Attorney Defendants, but not over the law practices of the attorneys, which were taken over by the State Bar.

 

The Receiver has shut down the operations of these Non-Attorney Defendants. It is not yet clear whether there will be any net assets and, if there are, whether they would be available to fund any form of refunds to the victims of the mass joinder fraud. If any refund procedures are initiated by the receivership or the Attorney General’s office, all consumers will be given notice of the procedures to then file a claim. You do not need to take any action at this time.

 

 

December 6, 2012 - Receiver's Update

 

The Receiver has completed his primary operational duties – suspended, then terminated the operations of the Receivership Defendants (the Non-Attorney Defendants), secured the premises where the Receivership Defendants operated, and thereafter closed those premises and liquidated the furniture and equipment on-site; secured the records (paper and electronic) of the Receivership Defendants; and orchestrated implementation of the asset freeze as to the Receivership Defendants. The Receiver and his staff have also coordinated with the parties, as necessary, for investigation and discovery.

 

The litigation between the California Attorney General’s office and the Defendants (both Attorney and Non-Attorney) and the parallel case of the State Bar against the Attorney Defendants are proceeding through the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Receiver is not a party to that case and not directly involved in that litigation. The case is still in its early procedural stages.

 

 

February 1, 2012 - Receiver's Update

 

Following a Status Conference on January 19, 2012, the Court issued a series of Orders as follows:

 

1. Approved the State Bar’s Permanent Order to Assume Jurisdiction over the Law Practice of Philip Kramer dba Law Office of Kramer and Kaslow;

 

2. Ordered Philip Kramer to turn over his Mercedes vehicle to the Receiver;

 

3. Did not rule on the request of the Pate Marier Defendants to unfreeze a portion of their frozen funds because those Defendants withdrew their request for such an unfreezing at the time of the Status Conference;

 

4. Declined to order the withdrawal of the subpoenas served on the Pate Marier Defendants by the Receiver and stated that the Receiver’s motion to enforce those subpoenas remains on calendar; and

 

5. Set the next Status Conference for April 19, 2012.

 

The Receiver has completed the closing of Defendants’ facilities as authorized by the previous Orders of October 3, 2011 and October 25, 2011.

 

 

December 1, 2011 – Receiver is Proceeding with Facilities Shut Down and Liquidation

 

After receiving Orders on October 3, 2011 and October 25, 2011 which authorized the shutdown of the Defendants’ facilities and liquidation of the furniture and equipment on site, the Receiver commenced that process and has been working through the issues with each individual landlord and orchestrating the best possible liquidation of the furniture and equipment. Unfortunately, in the current economy, the current market for used office furniture and equipment is saturated and we do not anticipate that the recovery from this liquidation process will be substantial. But, we are proceeding as prudently as possible to maximize the net return. We hope to complete this process by mid-December.

 

The Receiver is also reviewing all activities of the Non-Attorney Defendants and affiliates that worked with them to determine what additional remedies may be available that would provide a fund that might be available for mass joinder clients.

 

 

December 1, 2011 – Notice to Clients of Attorneys in Mass Joinder Cases

 

The State Bar of California has taken possession of the law practices of Kramer and Kaslow, Mitchell J. Stein, Christopher Van Son, Paul Peterson (Mesa Law Group), and Anthony Kassas (Kassas Law Group).

 

For information as to the handling of your case going forward, you need to contact the State Bar at one of the numbers below:

 

Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow: 213-765-1672

Mitchell J. Stein & Associates: 213-765-1639

Law Offices of Christopher Van Son: 213-765-1658

Paul W. Petersen: 213-765-1641 – The Petersen number provides information on Petersen and the number for Kassas because Kassas was using lines that had been provided to Petersen by the carrier.

Law Offices of Anthony J. Kassas: 213-765-1637

 

 

September 30, 2011

 

Receiver Seeking Court Approval to Dispose of Furniture and Equipment and Return Leased Offices to Landlords

 

The Receiver has applied to the Court for formal approval to commence the process of shutting down the various office sites of Defendants and returning the premises to the respective landlords. As part of that process, the Receiver will dispose of furniture and equipment on site acquired by Defendants as part of the business enterprise. The Receiver’s application will be heard on Monday, October 3, 2011. Click here to read the Application.

 

 

September 9, 2011

 

ATTENTION! Clients of the following law firms may contact the State Bar at the telephone numbers indicated below for information on your cases.

 

Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow: 213-765-1672

Mitchell J. Stein & Associates: 213-765-1639

Law Offices of Christopher Van Son: 213-765-1658

Paul W. Petersen: 213-765-1641

Law Offices of Anthony J. Kassas: 213-765-1637

 
 

September 7, 2011

 

Preliminary Injunction granted and Receiver appointment confirmed in California DOJ case; State Bar secures Interim Possession Order as to the law practice of Anthony Kassas dba Law Offices of Anthony Kassas and Kassas Law Group

 

Following a hearing on Friday, September 2, 2011 which was continued to Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the Superior Court in Van Nuys granted the California Department of Justice’s application for a Preliminary Injunction and Asset Freeze and confirmation of the appointment of the Receiver. Click here to read a copy of the Order Confirming Appointment of Receiver and here for a copy of the Preliminary Injuction. As a result, the terms of the Temporary Restraining Order initially entered August 15, 2011 are no longer temporary.

 

On Wednesday, September 7, 2011, the Superior Court in Orange County granted the Ex Parte Application of the State Bar for an “Interim Order Assuming Jurisdiction over the Law Practice of Anthony J. Kassas.” A copy of that Order can be accessed here

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
. Mr. Kassas’ law practice is, therefore, now under the control of the State Bar. The State Bar will establish a dedicated phone number at the State Bar which Kassas clients can call for further information. We will post that number once it is set up.

 

 

August 30, 2011 - Receiver Files Preliminary Report

 

The Receiver has today filed his Preliminary Report with the Court. Click here to read. This report includes a lengthy Appendix of Exhibits that is too voluminous for posting on this site.

 

Paragraph 3 of the Order Appointing Receiver, filed August 15, 2011, specifically authorizes and directs the Receiver to “continue and conduct the business[es], or cease operation of the business[es]” of the Non-Attorney Defendants over which the Receiver has been appointed. Any continued operations were dependent upon the Receiver being able to determine that the businesses could be operated lawfully and profitably without violating the Court’s Orders.

 

At Section V, pages 44-45, of the Preliminary Report, the Receiver responds to this direction with the conclusion that the business of the Non-Attorney Defendants cannot be operated lawfully and profitably at this juncture because these businesses “are so intertwined in illegal fee splitting, deceptive advertising, and illegal loan modifications that they cannot be operated lawfully.”

 

As a result, the Receiver has suspended all operations at the sites of the Non-Attorney Defendants’ businesses. That suspension will at minimum remain in effect until the Court holds its hearing and rules on the Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction and Confirmation of Receiver. That hearing is scheduled for September 2, 2011 in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.

 

 

August 25, 2011

 

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF KASSAS LAW GROUP

Attorney Kassas has taken possession of all client files which have a sale or court date in the next two weeks. Please contact Attorney Kassas for further assistance.

 

 

August 23, 2011

 

NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES OF KASSAS LAW GROUP

Employees of the Kassas Law Group may come to the office between 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 to retrieve your personal belongings.

 
 

August 22, 2011

 

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF KASSAS LAW GROUP

At a hearing today at 1:30 p.m., the Superior Court denied an application by Mr. Kassas to be lifted from the receivership. This does not mean, however, that the Receiver in any way represents you. Your attorney is still Kassas Law Group and Mr. Kassas. Within the next several days, the situation will be clarified as we await a decision by the State Bar.

 

 

August 19, 2011

 

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF KASSAS LAW GROUP

The Receiver will not have information about the handling of your cases until late Monday, August 22nd. Please check this website then.

 

NOTICE - 30 CORPORATE PARK, SUITES 400 AND 455, IRVINE, CA EMPLOYEES

Employees from the 30 Corporate Park, Suites 400 and 455, Irvine, CA location can stop by between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Friday, August 19, 2011 to pick up personal belongings.

 

 

August 15, 2011

 

Los Angeles County Superior Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order and Asset Freeze and Appoints Receiver as to Multiple Defendants Operating Mass Joinder Litigation Business

 

On August 15, 2011, the California Department of Justice filed an action against multiple parties involved in the solicitation and management of so-called "Mass Joinder" litigation against major mortgage lenders in the United States. The Superior Court immediately issued a Temporary Restraining Order and Asset Freeze and appointed Thomas W. McNamara of San Diego as the Receiver over the defendants and/or the defendants' assets.

 

Defendants named in the complaint are: Attorneys Processing Center, LLC, also doing business as Attorney Processing Center, and Processing Center; Data Management, LLC; Home Retention Division; Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow, also doing business as K2 Law, Mass Litigation Alliance, and Consolidated Litigation Group; Mesa Law Group Corp.; Mitchell J. Stein & Associates, Inc.; Mitigation Professionals, LLC, also doing business as K2 Law; Lewis Marketing Corp.; Pate, Marier and Associates, Inc.; Clarence Butt; Gary DiGirolamo; Philip Kramer; Ryan Marier; James Pate; Paul Petersen; Thomas Phanco; Glen Reneau; Mitchell Stein also doing business as Mitchell J. Stein & Associates; Bill Stephenson; Michael Tapia also doing business as Customer Solutions Group, and Home Retention Division; and, Christopher Van Son, also doing business as the Law Offices of Christopher J. Van Son, and Consolidated Litigation Group.

 

The Complaint filed by the California Attorney General's office alleges that the defendants prey on desperate consumer homeowners facing foreclosure and the loss of their homes by selling them participation in so-called mass joinder or multi-plaintiff lawsuits against mortgage lenders. The Complaint alleges that in doing this, defendants engaged in multiple unfair business practices, including false and misleading advertising and the illegal use of non-attorneys to solicit and procure business for a lawyer or law firm.

 

The Receiver has established this website as a vehicle for information to consumers. We will place regular updates on this website as the matter progresses.

 

Click here

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
to read the Complaint filed by the California Department of Justice. Click here to read the Temporary Restraining Order and Asset Freeze. Click hereto read the Order Appointing Receiver. The court has set September 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm as the time for the hearing on whether a Preliminary Injunction should be issued and whether the appointment of a Receiver should be confirmed.