On Verge of Losing Two Houses, Woman Sues her Attorney
Alta Heights resident and handyman Joan Clark has a new project — suing a Southern California attorney she had hired to modify her mortgage loans, according to court documents in Napa County Superior Court.
Clark accuses Jerry Alonzo Stevenson of the Platinum Law Group in Beverly Hills of taking $4,050 in June 2011 to modify two bank loans for two properties — her house in Alta Heights in east Napa and a rental property in Placerville —and not doing the work on her behalf, according to the small-claims court documents.
She’s prepared to argue her case Thursday afternoon in small claims court at the Historic Courthouse, armed with documents she has compiled over the months in between jobs. In small claims courts, also known as the “people’s courts” — parties argue their case without an attorney.
“I’m going to win because I have the law on my side,” a confident Clark said, noting that a 2009 state law prohibits anyone from requiring prepayment to negotiate a loan modification.
She’s suing Stevenson for $10,000 — the maximum award in small claims courts — citing the amount of time and expense in preparing her case.
Clark, 61, is both a self-employed handyman and an employee for The Home Depot.
She has to do a “short sale” on her Alta Heights house because she cannot continue to pay the almost $3,000 monthly mortgage payments, Larson said. She got an offer for her Alta Heights home this week, she said.
She does not expect to be able to hold onto her rental property either, she said, as she set up for a yard sale in Napa for this weekend.
Clark, who has lived in Napa since 1962, plans to move to Sonora or Twain Harte where the cost of living is more affordable than in Napa. She sees the experience as a new adventure, she said.
In the meantime, as of July 3, Stevenson is “ineligible to practice law,” according to the State Bar of California’s website.
Stevenson, a San Diego resident, could not be reached for comment. David Carr, his attorney, declined comment on Friday.
A representative for the State Bar of California ...