I engaged the Law Offices of C. William Berger, Esq. in February 2018 to assist to with me in negotiating a foreclosure resolution with Bank of America. Bill Berger Law Offices was referred through an associate who never actually used them but had heard about them through industry chatter. They also advertise under the name u201cThe Home Defense Teamu201d. The sales pitch came from a man named Randall (954-708-2073) who made it very clear that he could not guarantee that I will be able to retain myhome, but he did guarantee they would exhaust all legal avenues in an attempt to keep and at the very least a resolution would be reached that would include and exiting plan and relief of any liability for the home once I left. He explained that there was a $1200 up front fee and then $695 every month until a resolution was reached and the first step would be a conversation with the attorney who would be assigned to my case. Before engaging the firm I did some homework, I checked the Ripoff Scams and at the time there was one or two complaints which I would expect to see about any business because I am aware you canu2019t make everyone happy all of the time. The same complaints popped up on other sites so I felt so I felt reasonably comfortable. I proceeded to the next step, the conversation with the assigned attorney, her name was Lynne Castalani (or Suarez as dealings with this firm came to an end her name kept changing from Lynne to Loretta and possibly even Lauren). I was initially impressed with Lynne, prior to our first conversation she had done some homework on my situation, assured me that she would be able to turnover the foreclosure through court action, explained what I would expect in the next 45 days and promised to give me updates 2-3 times a month. Gave me all of her contact numbers and told me to send over immediately any documents I receive to her assitant. I signed the countract outlining all of the services the firm promised to provide and pushed GO. After 2 payments were withdrawn from my account the documents Lynne told me to expect arrived and I sent them right over to her assistant (Lauren Castalani who also goes my Lauren Suarez). I come to find out later it wasn’t that Lynne was doing her job they were actually the next round of documents one would receive who didn’t respond to the initial ones I sent to Lynne at the point of engagement. A few days of silence so I left messages, emailed and faxed for a couple of days before finally catching Lynne at her desk at an off hour of the evening. She apologized for not getting back to me, told me not to worry she already responded & filed with the courts an answer to the complaint. She told me she had everything under control. She also explained that it may be a couple of months before I hear from the courts but when I do, send it right over. 60 days and 6 monthly payments later I get a Writ of Possession in the mail (basically notice to hand over the property). I called all the numbers I had for her and the firm, calls went to voice mail. Emailed document to Lynne, bounced back as undeliverable. Faxed to the number I faxed to before, error message disconnected number. I went on-line and Googled the C William Berger, Esq., a whole new set of numbers appeared. Started calling the main number asking to speak to Berger himself, he was never available, never called me back, stood me up for a scheduled conference call. Called the main number everyday, every hour until Lauren Castalani or Suarez finally emailed me back. With a different email address and last name stating that the firm had moved and she got married and that Lynne was no longer handling my case Bill Berger was and that I needed to speak with him. I explained that I had left many messages and he wasn’t calling me back. She told me she would forward all of my emails and documents to him and have him call me back. Days went by, despite my constant calling and emailing, nobody would respond to me. The receptionist changed her story on the whereabouts of C William Berger, Esq. that I concluded that he doesn’t exist. What she was doing was trying to drag things out to the beginning of the month to get another payment out of me. I was in such a panic and in such a vulnerable position that thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Sure enough another month came another payment taken out and finally I here from Bill Berger (actually an email from Lauren’s address but signed by Bill Berger) stating that they were trying to negotiate a cash for keys with the banks counsel and asked how soon could I be out…I asked for my options (ie how long do I have, how much for my keys, will I get a release of liability, etc). Days go by no response. At a point of desperation, I reached out to Bank of America’s attorney and explained my situation and asked if he could help. His reply was “your attorney did not reply to one complaint. he didn’t even file an appearance in court on your behalf”. It looked as though I was ignoring what was going on. He didn’t even know I had an attorney. Berger Law had not even at that point reached out to him as they said they did to negotiate cash for keys, they were again dragging things out to get another payment ouf of me. The bottom line . . . they did not do one single thing other than look up my loan information on line. They did not respond to any complaints or judgments, they did NOTHING except take $695 out of my account for 9 months. Had they done what they were suppose to at the time of engagement, I would have been able to keep my house. Instead I have a judgment pending against me, had to spend a rediculous amount of money to move out in less than 15 days. To this day, I have yet to speak to C William Berger, Esq. I honestly do not believe he exists. Do not engage these conartists.
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