Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

small foreclosure litigation firms

representing lenders. can you get yourself into biglaw prac fuckup05/10/17
Why would that experience be valuable? Commercial foreclosur retard05/10/17
Yes (except to bonafide big law, that ship sailed pretty muc sjlawyer05/10/17
I'd be transferring from ID. Just not sure I want to do thi fuckup05/11/17
I would say that your options moving into midlaw are not bad zodd05/11/17
how was it unpleasant fuckup05/11/17
Well sjlawyer explained it well. Unpleasant in that it's vol zodd05/11/17
Yeah, I think Zodd picked up my mistake. I just assumed sma sjlawyer05/11/17
So I found out it's mostly residential real estate. Probabl fuckup05/11/17
What that probably means is that you will spend lots of time zodd05/11/17
This is pretty much credited. In NJ, there are a variety of sjlawyer05/12/17
The time limit advice is crucial. Too many attorneys impair mrtor05/12/17
True. Good advice. It seems this position will not include fuckup05/13/17
OP, when I practiced in NJ, there was a firm in Livingston t hairypalms05/11/17
The skills learned in ID and other volume based practices ar retard05/11/17
I work in collections and have assisted on a few land contra vohod05/11/17
Any job is better than no job. That being said, if you have mrtor05/11/17
I worked at a mill foreclosure firm. The biggest clients mov acerimmer05/12/17
In regards to servicers as an exit: be careful. Walter is on vohod05/12/17
yea no, residential foreclosures will not get you to any kin aspiretoretire05/12/17
I think you would have a better chance of getting to some fo loblawyer05/13/17
seems right fuckup05/15/17
My answer comes from having worked at larger firms doing app employmentlawyer05/14/17

fuckup (May 10, 2017 - 5:57 pm)

representing lenders. can you get yourself into biglaw practice, or at least higher end midlaw, this way?

Reply Like (0)
retard (May 10, 2017 - 6:48 pm)

Why would that experience be valuable? Commercial foreclosures are down from what I have heard and it's not exactly the most prestigious work. My understanding is that the loans are usually already packaged and sold to a servicer by the time it gets that far.

Reply Like (0)
sjlawyer (May 10, 2017 - 8:24 pm)

Yes (except to bonafide big law, that ship sailed pretty much at OCI), but be aggressive in lateraling out quickly. You'll get courtroom experience and the ability to work quickly. That can translate for a young associate of a year or two, but that's pretty much it, IMHO. Even if you have to work for small law general practice, it's a step up in terms of refining your skills.

Reality is, though, it will be difficult to get into what you term biglaw or higher end midlaw. Is regular big-ish practice (50-200 attorneys) in the burbs (or some metro like ID) possible? Yes.

Also, try for some state level clerkships - that should reset your career while you tread water now.

Reply Like (0)
fuckup (May 11, 2017 - 9:56 am)

I'd be transferring from ID. Just not sure I want to do this forever.

I ask because so many "quality" firms have these types of practices. I don't expect true biglaw, I'm def thinking more "midlaw" like many of the firms in northern NJ, upstate NY cities, etc.

Reply Like (0)
zodd (May 11, 2017 - 10:24 am)

I would say that your options moving into midlaw are not bad if you are doing commercial for a few years.

Residential is less well regarded and just a few steps up from landlord tenant. I worked at one of these foreclosure mills for a few years and the experience was unpleasant to say the least.

Reply Like (0)
fuckup (May 11, 2017 - 10:30 am)

how was it unpleasant

Reply Like (0)
zodd (May 11, 2017 - 11:48 am)

Well sjlawyer explained it well. Unpleasant in that it's volume but it's also Supreme Court work so they will pick apart inaccuracies. At the residential level it was not rewarding, at least for me. I was regarded as the enemy by everybody, and let me tell you residential foreclosure is very personal. There were times I had moral issues with the process but there was nothing to do about it.

Also my firm had two drunk lunatics as partners which didn't help matters. It was a drama that I will never forget.

Reply Like (0)
sjlawyer (May 11, 2017 - 11:05 am)

Yeah, I think Zodd picked up my mistake. I just assumed small foreclosure litigation meant a mill, but if it's commercial, it can be a little better and easier to get out/move on. It's misery because it's a chop shop and you're just a cog in moving houses from owners to the lenders. Everyone hates you.

As to movement to a decent firm in north jersey, very doable, IMHO.

Reply Like (0)
fuckup (May 11, 2017 - 6:20 pm)

So I found out it's mostly residential real estate. Probably a mill.

Reply Like (0)
zodd (May 11, 2017 - 7:33 pm)

What that probably means is that you will spend lots of time driving all over for settlement conferences and motions in the am and back to the office for motions, probably orders to show cause at first in the afternoons.

As somebody stated if you can compartmentalize what you are doing from the notion that you are part of the process of removing people from their homes you get useful experience with court appearances, court procedures and motion practice. If you think you will take the cases home with you like I did? Then think twice about it.

Reply Like (0)
sjlawyer (May 12, 2017 - 8:16 am)

This is pretty much credited. In NJ, there are a variety of firms that will pick you up from places like this, which are the lowest of the low in terms of "doody" law. However, I would say you've got 1-2 years to escape, so don't spend too much time there. Get there, get experience, get $$ and get out.

You can spin the experience to get into a "midlaw" type firm that does various forms of ID practice as well as other standard areas of law on a non-biglaw level (development, commercial transactions on a smaller scale, etc.).

I think someone else escaped from a similar place on here and might have better advice. Whatever you do, don't stay too long.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (May 12, 2017 - 3:03 pm)

The time limit advice is crucial. Too many attorneys impair the growth and success of their careers by being a "team player" and sticking around. By the time they finally want to get out, its too late. Many are overexperienced and/or have no transferable knowledge or abilities. Your first couple of years in practice are important. If you're not where you want to be, continue making strategic moves to close in on your goal.

Reply Like (0)
fuckup (May 13, 2017 - 11:40 am)

True. Good advice. It seems this position will not include much court time, and it's mostly motions. relatively low hours/stress, but it doesn't seem like the exit options would be good.

Reply Like (0)
hairypalms (May 11, 2017 - 12:05 pm)

OP, when I practiced in NJ, there was a firm in Livingston that did this type of work almost exclusively. Can't recall the name (I no longer practice in NJ), but it was a 15-attorney shop (or thereabouts).

Reply Like (0)
retard (May 11, 2017 - 6:27 pm)

The skills learned in ID and other volume based practices aren't always relevant to a mid law litigation group.

Knowing how to juggle 75 files, fill out template motions and kick the can down the road while not having the time or inclination to learn the facts cold doesn't transfer to a mid law commercial lit group where you have 10 cases a year and draft papers with detailed and subtle legal analysis.

Get in and get out.

Reply Like (0)
vohod (May 11, 2017 - 10:44 am)

I work in collections and have assisted on a few land contract cases. In my state it is more complex than collections but you drive a LOT, field calls from insane angry pro ses, and generally need to get to the point of a template litigation process. There is rarely a genuine issue of triable fact. OC know this so they won't put much effort into it. Many consumer-side mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers use marketing that is close to fraudulent(ie, we will make this go away), so they vent their stress on you, the evil bank lawyer, when they inevitably lose.

ID experience is beautiful because you will have a mix of hourly and flat rate (by task) clients. I enjoy it as each task earns my keep. In routine collections you earn nothing until you extract it from the consumer.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (May 11, 2017 - 11:49 am)

Any job is better than no job. That being said, if you have any other options, you should consider them before foraying into the foreclosure world. Once you are in, it will be difficult to get out.

Foreclosure work is highly stigmatized for a couple of reasons. Lender-side foreclosure can appear "dirty" and, ultimately, consists of the big bank kicking the little guy while he's down (stereotype is based on facts). You will need to compartmentalize your duties to actually enjoy the work. Bleeding hearts will not succeed in lender-side foreclosure and need not apply.

If you're trying to escape ID for a more stimulating and challenging work environment, foreclosure work isn't exactly prime. The bulk of the work is often uncontested (because let's face it, the borrowers probably would have paid their mortgage if they had enough money to hire an attorney). You file your pleadings, run through the motions before a judge, and enforce the judgment. Spin cycle, repeat. You don't exactly refine your litigation skills when there is no opponent.

That being said, the work is different than ID and may appeal to your tastes, especially if you are fairly office bound now and looking for more courtroom experience. You may even be able to escape billing. Just don't go into it thinking it will involve fascinating and complex litigation (absent a highly contested case with unusual facts every now and again). It can be every bit as dull and repetitive as ID.

Reply Like (0)
acerimmer (May 12, 2017 - 10:43 am)

I worked at a mill foreclosure firm. The biggest clients moved their service to a regional firm based in Kansas City, and once the backlog of cases was worked through, the firm collapsed.

You must leave before anything like this happens. You DO NOT want to be around when a firm collapses; it's like getting fired for being a jinx.

Get business cards, with your personal Cell #. Give them to every lawyer and judge you come across. Network with the servicers as well - the lender default managers, the real estate people, whoever.

Reply Like (0)
vohod (May 12, 2017 - 11:08 am)

In regards to servicers as an exit: be careful. Walter is on the brink (does biz as Ditech, GreenTree)

Reply Like (0)
aspiretoretire (May 12, 2017 - 1:50 pm)

yea no, residential foreclosures will not get you to any kind of respectable midlaw. There just is not any crossover in any of the actual work and skills

Reply Like (0)
loblawyer (May 13, 2017 - 2:21 pm)

I think you would have a better chance of getting to some form of respectable midlaw-ish type firm (that likely has some ID) by staying where you are now. Residential foreclosure seems like a step backwards.

Reply Like (0)
fuckup (May 15, 2017 - 1:09 pm)

seems right

Reply Like (0)
employmentlawyer (May 14, 2017 - 7:43 pm)

My answer comes from having worked at larger firms doing appellate foreclosure work for lenders and then representing homeowners in HLPA and UPA type counterclaims once I went out on my own. Answers may vary based on location and experience of whoever is answering.

In my area this is bottom of the ladder type work. There are foreclosure mill firms that are kind of jokes. Whenever a case gets serious, they hire a large firm to handle the appellate briefs or the answers to counter claims etc.

I would think that once you are one of these lawyers working at the regular foreclosure mill firms, you don't have much chance of climbing back up. But maybe some solo or small law firm would be impressed with your oral argument skills. Here they are in court often although a lot of the time it's against a pro se homeowner or even more often, the other side doesn't show up at all so they get granted default judgment. But at least it's good court experience.

My area also has a required foreclosure mediation process through the courts so a skill learned could be negotiation and settlements (or, dragging it out forever until obtaining a judgement). These kinds of lawyers are also really good at refusing discovery until some district court or appellate judge slaps them on the wrist and makes them give it up... I guess that could be a valuable skill in some lawyers' eyes. But honestly, I would avoid at all costs. I think that these types of lawyers are on par with debt collection attorneys in terms of how other lawyers view them. Granted, I'm sure no one held me in very high regard as a solo attorney taking cases that paid the bills... family law, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense in addition to my employment law practice in which I believe I was rather respected but who knows... but I made a good enough living and I was the same caliber of attorney who had worked at large law firms before going solo, so reputation isn't all that matters. But if you are considering this in terms of future job opportunities, I honestly think you should find something, anything else other than this line of work because it doesn't have a good reputation in the legal community, at least not where I practiced. Good luck.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread