Lawyer Illegally Accepted Advance Fees for Loan Modifications

Allison Tussey —  September 6, 2012 — Leave a comment

Zachary Ian Gonzalez, 32, West Covina, California, California state bar number 259663, was disbarred June 16, 2012, and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Gonzalez stipulated to 43 counts of misconduct in 14 cases involving his failures to provide competent legal services in bankruptcy and loan modification matters.

Gonzalez violated California law by twice agreeing to negotiate a loan modification and collecting advance fees before the work was completed. Gonzalez also did not return his clients’ files.

In 12 matters, he became ineligible to practice law and as a result could not complete his clients’ cases. However, he did not refund unearned fees and in some cases the clients’ bankruptcies were dismissed. Two matters were dismissed because Gonzalez didn’t file 13 required documents. In two other cases, he was not permitted to prepare and file the required documents.

He was suspended and placed on probation in 2011 for failing to refund unearned fees or account for advance fees, forming a partnership with a person who is not a lawyer, splitting legal fees with a non-lawyer, soliciting prospective clients with whom he had no family or professional relationship and committing acts of moral turpitude. In mitigation, he stipulated to disbarment.

He agreed to make restitution totaling $60,855 to the clients in the 14 disciplinary matters.

Allison Tussey

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