Those of us in lawyer discipline circles often note that things run in approximate 10-year cycles. Given that the last big meltdown in the housing market happened about nine years ago and some commentators are warning of a new bubble, watch out for a new round of mortgage fraud cases with the inevitable lawyer victims in the mix.
I call the lawyers involved victims because I have dealt with many of them and, with a few exceptions, found that they were neither the ringleaders nor the profiteers of the fraudulent schemes. Most of them were just trying to maintain market share in a very competitive business, were closing loans that had been arranged by others who profited greatly, and charged nothing more than their usual modest fees. If they had venal intent, they were from the “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight,” because the pittance most of them got for their involvement paled when compared to the cost of their criminal defense and the devastating effect that criminal convictions and huge restitution orders had on their lives and careers.
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