Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy on Thursday sued a Los Angeles-area law firm for allegedly collecting illegal fees for a “forensic loan audit” from a San Francisco Bay Area couple promising to stop the foreclosure of their property — which they quickly lost.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Orlando and Mercedes Erazo in San Mateo County Superior Court, accuses attorney Francisco Nogales of promising the audit would induce the Erazos’ lender to modify their loans, but of not actually doing any work to prevent foreclosure. After the homes were sold in foreclosure, Nogales collected thousands of dollars more in fees for a lawsuit he said would reclaim the properties but was never filed. Nogales and an employee linked to the firm have a history of suspect business ventures, the Cotchett firm said.

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