Get legal advice on foreclosure for cheap!Posted: Updated:
Fighting foreclosure has become a full-time job for Nichole Italiano.
Proof is in the piles of paperwork at her Maricopa home.
But Nichole, an adult model and aspiring actress, says she never would've been in this battle had it not been for a traumatic accident four years ago.
“I was thrown from a horse on a photo shoot and I landed on some rocks and then the horse came back and landed on top of my head,” she remembered.
Nichole was flown to a local hospital with a skull fracture before slipping into a coma for three days.
She recovered and was eventually discharged, but says that was just the beginning of her nightmare.
“This one day brought the predators out of the woodwork,” Nichole said.
Weeks later, she purchased her home, but because of her injuries, claims to have no recollection of signing closing papers, and more importantly, no defense against what she now believes was a predatory lender.
“I'm not just somebody who bought at the wrong time and then the market went bad,” she explained, “I am somebody that had no idea what was happening and has gotten no help along the way.”
“If you don't have an attorney, you really have to take a significant amount of time to educate yourself about what the laws are what the deadlines are,” attorney Jay Zweig said.
Zweig isn't involved with Nichole's case, but was recently awarded nearly $500,000 for a Valley family who fell behind on their mortgage and then fell victim to a scam.
Zweig took on that case pro bono. He said it's the first time in Arizona that a home-loan victim has sued, and won.
“All this for us is about getting these people and their children back in their home, so when that happens we will have a celebration in their backyard and look forward to that day,” he said.
Zweig says the best way to avoid becoming a victim of mortgage fraud is to know - through and through - exactly what you're getting yourself into.
“If you don't, don't just rely on what the company is telling you, get some independent advice. Take a time out. Don't just sign something,” Zweig said.
Nichole Italiano contends she had no way of knowing what she was signing because of her medical condition.
She's now pursuing legal action and hopes for the same outcome Zweig was able to get for his clients.
“I am not going anywhere, I am not going to shut up and this is just the beginning,” she said.
In 2008, Nichole's lender, EMC mortgage agreed to pay $28 million dollars for unlawful mortgage practices.
In the meantime, there is a way for you to get legal advice without shelling out a lot of cash. For more information, contact the Maricopa County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.