Lawyer Disbarred for Loan Modification Fraud

Allison Tussey —  August 26, 2013 — 6 Comments

Stephen Lyster Siringoringo, 32, Garden Grove, California, bar # 264161, has been disbarred for defrauding homeowners in a loan modification scam.

Finding that he posed a “substantial threat” to his clients and the public, and continued to engage in unlawful activities, the State Bar Court has ordered that Siringoringo be prohibited from practicing law.

Siringoringo was placed on inactive status July 29, 2013, pending the outcome of a disciplinary case against him. Siringoringo was in the midst of a trial for 25 counts of misconduct tied to loan modification matters and faces additional charges in connection with 14 other cases outlined in the court’s decision and order of inactive enrollment.

In that order filed July 26, 2013, State Bar Court Judge Richard A. Honn wrote that Siringoringo’s business model violated Civil Code section 2944.7, which prohibits loan modification professionals – both attorneys and non-attorneys – from charging fees before they have performed all the services that they were contracted for.

According to Honn, the Siringoringo Law Firm set up retainer agreements with its clients whereby the loan modification work would be split into stages. In stage one and two – which involved pre-qualification and completing a loan modification application – clients would be charged between $2,000 and $3,500. In stage 3, during which the firm was to submit the loan modification application and purportedly negotiate with the lender, clients were charged $495 every 30 days while awaiting the lender’s decision.

Siringoringo’s conduct demonstrates a pattern of behavior, he has failed to acknowledge his billing methods are wrong, and there is no indication he will change his practices.

“Respondent has demonstrated a lack of understanding or appreciation of his ethical and fiduciary duties,” Honn wrote. “In addition, respondent continues to harm some of his clients by failing to refund their unearned fees and communicate with them. Absent the court’s intervention, it is likely that respondent’s misconduct will continue to harm his present and future clients.”

Siringoringo is the third attorney this year that the State Bar Court has placed on involuntary inactive status for alleged misconduct. In May 2013, the court placed Los Angeles attorney Gene Wook Choe, 50, [bar # 187704] on involuntary inactive status for alleged misconduct in loan modification matters similar to the allegations against Siringoringo.

In June 2013, the court granted the State Bar’s application to involuntarily enroll Hal Erwin Wright [bar # 157814] as an inactive member. Wright, 58, Davis, California, has been charged with multiple acts of misconduct involving moral turpitude and dishonesty, including misappropriation of funds.

The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel seeks orders of involuntary inactive enrollment in cases where immediate action is necessary due to the threat of ongoing harm to the public.

Allison Tussey

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6 responses to Lawyer Disbarred for Loan Modification Fraud

  1. I share with you my view on this from the inside as a former CCMI employee @Siringo. I did some research myself after I voluntarially quit, wanting no part of taking advantage of vulnerable homeowners on the verge of loosing their real property. To most, we arent just talking about a piece of property or real estate or about an investor who has multiple properties, has property they live in & other real estate investment properties to spare, loosing 1, 2 or more is just business, a loss on poor investment….although I did encounter some of those senarios, the majority of Siringo clients were desperate homeowners in crisis, Families, Mom’s & Dad’s with kids in fear of loosing their family home, the only home they own, the roof over their heads & the foundation under their feet, some were facing dyre circumstances of possibly being homeless. I know that Stephen Siringoringo received his law degree & became a member of the CA state bar 7/2009, when shortly after Stephen was sought out by CCMI with their Loan Modification Operation with an offer to form a partnership, legitimate operation that would be financially rewarding. Stephens view was helping homeowners, saving homeowners & families, especially for families with kids to not loose their homes & be forced to move. To CCMI they saw a rookie, a guy with a new law degree freah out of the bar wanting to be successful CCMI saw Stephen as a fresh meat, a sucker and made Stephen easy prey. I know Stephen and I know his plight and I believe whole heartedly being fresh out of the bar made him easy prey for CCMI and they took advantage of Stephen 100%. THIS was never Stephens intent, although, this was CCMI’S motive & inteny all along & Stephen is just another attorney who’s lost his law license as a result of CCMI’s who moved onto yet another attorney, fresh out of the bar who was approached with the same offer made to Stephen, now she is also under investigation as CCMI preys on the innocent, destroys an attorneys career (Stephen held his law license for less than 3 years) & onto the next prey. There’s no mention of the 1600+ successful modifications or those 1600 + families who didn’t loose their home and knocked thousands off their principal, lowering their mortgage payment substantially & are still living in their homes because of Stephen. Stephen got involved in something much bigger than thought and they used him and once they couldn’t use him anymore they moved onto using the next rookie. Stephen is a victim in this too. He has a good heart & I know that he helped a lot of people, CCMI took advantage of people, Stephen included. FYI: None of worked for Stephen, we were all employed by Clausen & Cobb Management Inc to work in the offices with Stephen Siringoringo name on it.

  2. Sylvia webberley November 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Hi there, yes this place is very wrong and I hope some day your son will see that. The company is probably giving him money that he can’t. Turn down please feel free to contact me. Thank you. We want to be part of a class action suit because siringoringo took us for 6000. Thank you for your time,best if luck.

  3. I have watched this case with great interest. Not because I have been directly harmed by Mr. Siringoringo but because my son was offered and accepted a job working for the people that Mr. Siringoringo worked for and took the fall for, that being “Clausen and Cobb Management Inc.”, from here on known as “CCMI”.

    What I do not understand is why CCMI is still in business with new lawyers under a new name but still working out of the same office buildings? All the California State Bar has done is cut the tail of the serpent! The head of the serpent is still intact and just as dangerous.

    Why do I not read that CCMI is being investigated for the same crimes against the people that Mr. Siringoringo has been reported to have hurt? It is clear from all my readings that Mr. Siringoringo had partnered with the management of the CCMI group and they are just as guilty if not the true guilty party. CCMI is known for using lawyers to collect and share fees illegally for the purpose of modifying home loans. Mr. Siringoringo is the third lawyer to have been disbarred while working for the owners and managers of CCMI.

    My son and I do not currently see eye to eye and I cannot talk to him about my concerns because we are at such odds with each other. I am glad that my son has a job but it seems to me he is working for a Mafia like organization and that someday he may take a fall for this CCMI group and there is nothing I can do but pray the management of this organization is brought to justice before he is hurt.

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