100s Of Complaints Over Mortgage Modification Suits Get Sringoringo Disbarred

(October 29) Stephen Lyster Siringoringo, the 1999 Fontana High School graduate who seemingly made good by becoming an attorney specializing in modification services for clients facing foreclosures during the height of the home mortgage meltdown four years ago, has agreed to disbarment.
Losing his license to practice law will mollify some, though not all of the hundreds of former clients who claim Siringoringo took advantage of them, took their money, allowed their homes to be taken from them and then provided them with no accounting or records to assist them in the aftermath.
According to the State Bar, Siringoringo visited upon his clients significant harm by failing to provide promised services to them and aided in the unauthorized practice of law by other when he allowed non-attorney employees to meet with clients, set fees and perform legal services without supervision.
A stipulation filed October 15 in State Bar Court ratchets an earlier discipline to the state of disbarment for Siringoringo. Last December, the Bar found Siringoringo culpable of collecting advanced fees for loan modification work in 20 client matters and recommended an 18-month suspension. In partial mitigation Siringoringo has agreed to provide refunds ranging from $1,500 to $5,970 to 14 former clients named in the stipulation.
That relates to but a fraction of the harm Siringoringo is alleged to wreaked. The State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel indicated it has received 796 additional complaints regarding alleged misconduct by Siringoringo. Those clients may be eligible for reimbursement by the State Bar’s Client Security Fund after the disbarment is finalized by the California Supreme Court.
Under the terms of the stipulation, Siringoringo was not eligible to practice law as of Oct. 18.
Siringoringo and his firm took money up front from clients, maintaining action could not be taken if there were no funds to work with.  The firm typically asked for $3995.00 to initiate work and would bill clients $135.00 each month thereafter. When employees were pressed by clients about what action had been taken, they would be met with claims that the process required time to mature. Delays of eight, ten, 12, 14 and 16 months before informing clients that their loan modifications had been denied were common. Subsequently, clients were told that another method for obtaining a modification was in the works. Few, if any of the sought modifications were ever achieved.

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