Money Talks: Foreclosure Rip-Off

Some look at a foreclosure and all they see is someone who borrowed money they didn't repay.

The homeowner is the bad guy, the bank is the victim.

A foreclosure defense lawyer, however, sees it differently.

It isn't the way most people think it is in terms of "Oh, these people haven't paid their mortgage."

These people were sucked into a horrible deals buying ARMs that they never should have been able to put into.


Because the conscience was out of the deal.

Peter Tickten's firm is defending more than 3,000 foreclosures.

His goal?

Using things like lost paperwork and robo-signing to get a a mortgage wiped out so the homeowner never has to pay it back.

It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

As it turns out, however, the fees some of these lawyers are charging may send some homeowners seeking a defense from their defense lawyers.

Because this lawyer has pioneered a new fee structure: 40% of any mortgage reduction he achieves.

Say you've got a 200,000 mortgage and it gets dismissed: you never have to pay it back.

The fee will be 40% of $200,000: $80,000.

Where does a consumer in foreclosure come up with $80,000?

Why, with a mortgage, of course.

And that leaves only one question.

How can a lawyer possibly justify a fee like this?

"If I do that in a case where you lose your leg and I get a million dollars for you, I get 40% of that.

So if I do the same thing in a case where I save you a million dollars on the mortgage on your home, I should be able to get the same amount."

Mr. Tickten said his fee is negotiable and he'd never foreclose on a homeowner to collect it.

But still it seems like when it comes to foreclosures, even when you win you lose.

Learn more about this new fee structure, and see the complete interview right here at

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