Paul A. Pysczynski, a former Sarasota bankruptcy attorney, has been charged with seven felony charges related to an alleged loan modification scam. Pysczynski was retained by several homeowners for assistance with consolidating or reorganizing debt. However, instead of providing the legal services, Pysczynski left town with more than $80,000 of his clients’ money.
The charges against Pysczynski include three counts of practicing law with a suspended license, two counts of scheme to defraud $20,000 to $50,000, and two counts of grand theft. It is expected that more charges will be added. The attorney was suspended by the Florida Bar in 2012 because he failed to complete his continuing legal education requirements.
One homeowner alleges he hired Pysczynski to negotiate a loan modification. He paid the lawyer in excess of $50,000, but no payments were ever sent to the mortgage-holder. The bank proceeded with a foreclosure action. In response, Pysczynski filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the homeowner’s name without obtaining proper consent. Sadly, there are numerous other stories of Pysczynski taking his client’s money without providing any legal services.
Florida has implemented a foreclosure rescue scam statute (to be discussed in further blogs) that was created to help protect homeowners against dishonesty, trickery, and financial hardship that can occur when they are the victim of scammers like Pysczynski. You can also protect yourself by conducting your own investigation of an attorney before hiring him/her. The Florida Bar Association and other legal websites provide information that allows you to verify that the lawyer you are working with is legitimate and licensed to practice within the State. Some websites even offer feedback regarding the lawyer’s abilities and responsiveness to clients.
If you have questions regarding filing for bankruptcy protection, contact us for a free consultation.