Advocate Legal

Advocate Legal

We are a Southern California Foreclosure Litigation firm serving L.A., San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange specializing in bank fraud and negligence, Quiet Title, & Bankruptcy. We litigate against lenders whether before or after foreclosure

Firm Overview

At Advocate Legal we sue the banks on your behalf for fraud, negligence, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quiet title, or TILA and RESPA violations. We litigate to leverage you into a modification or to reinstate a modification you were denied or tricked out of. If you lost equity in your property by bank negligence, we litigate for damages.

At Advocate Legal we work with our clients to ensure a successful litigation. We interview you thoroughly and prepare a detailed complaint that will survive a motion to dismiss or a summary judgment motion by the bank. As experts in lender and servicer fraud, we figure out what the bank is trying to hide, and why.

If you got a loan between 2004 and 2009, chances are you got a predatory subprime loan that has become hard to pay. Even if you got a loan after 2009 you still may have the same issues of an over-leveraged property and a bad loan. The reason for this is a toxic mix of federal deregulation and a mortgage industry scheme that entered our culture with the explosion of securitization in the early 2000s. A big part of this scheme is a shell company owned by the mortgage servicers called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS).

If MERS is on your deed of trust or mortgage that means your loan was securitized into a real estate investment trust. It also means that your title is clouded since the existence of MERS on a deed of trust as a named beneficiary instantly clouds title. As a result of this, many of our clients are currently attempting to Quiet Title against MERS.

If you've tried on your own to deal with your servicer for a loan modification or any other issue, you probably have been horrified by the lack of service you receive. It's ironic that these servicers are even called servicers since the customer service is so poor. The reason for this is something most borrowers don't understand, which is the conflict of interest between the servicer and the beneficiary and the fact that the servicer benefits by foreclosure.

The MERS scheme enables mortgage servicers to name MERS as a fake beneficiary on your loan so that the servicers could avoid the multiple recording fees on the multiple recordings required for securitization. The servicers also use the shell company as a fake beneficiary in order to foreclose on you and to claim extra rights that actually belong to the true beneficiary. This conflict of interest, and fake beneficiary status, allows the servicer to use MERS to take power away from the true beneficiary.

This conflict of interest is also what creates the current bottom-feeder environment in mortgage lending which is a bonanza for litigation attorneys, but not so great for you as a borrower. The servicer benefits by foreclosure but the beneficiary doesn't. That's why it's so hard for you to get a modification. That's why the agents that work for your servicer are so negligent and dismissive.

You may have been tricked into foreclosure. Maybe someone on the telephone promised you that all you need to do is stop paying your mortgage and you can get a modification. After you stop paying, they avoid your calls and lose your paperwork.
You may have gotten a letter from your servicers suddenly increasing your rate. Your servicer may have suddenly refused a payment. You may have been switched to a new servicer that will not honor your loan modification. These are all servicer tricks.

The scams that prey on vulnerable borrowers are just as bad as what the bank has done. You may have reached out for help and encountered the many schemes that prey on desperate borrowers. These include fake attorney firms that don't contain any attorneys and loan modification schemes that pretend to do a litigation. If you need a legal advocate with skill and integrity, we are Advocate Legal and we are here to help you.

At Advocate Legal, we are driven by a desire to give power back to individual borrowers and to help homeowners defeat the big banks. This may be through litigation or bankruptcy. We seek to achieve peace of mind for every client.

At Advocate Legal, each potential client gets a free initial consultation with an experienced litigator that will tell you in 15 minutes if you have a case against your lender or if bankruptcy is a better solution. When you visit us, you leave with an understanding and a strategy.
Main Office
Located in the "Koreatown" district of Los Angeles
3055 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 1200
Los Angeles  CA  90010
  • (800) 846-0390
  • (800) 878-7336
Southern California Foreclosure Litigation Attorneys Experienced in Mortgage Fraud, Bankruptcy, and Loan Modification.
Fighting hard to protect California homeowners facing foreclosure

Homeowners today face a variety of hardships that lead to mounting debt and the inability to make timely payments on their mortgages. Job loss or reduction in salary; unforeseen medical expenses; changes in loan terms, (for example, an adjustable rate mortgage); and divorce, separation or the loss of a wage earner may all jeopardize your home. Many homeowners do not realize that they are not to blame for such circumstances and that they often have options other than foreclosure. At Advocate Legal , our attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and your debt relief options in Los Angeles County and throughout California. With decades of legal experience, we fight to prevent foreclosure and other unjust or unnecessary actions by banks and other lenders.
What happens in foreclosure?

A default occurs when a borrower stops paying his/her mortgage, regardless of hardship or any other reason. Foreclosure occurs if borrowers don't cure their default by paying all their arrears plus late fees and penalties. Any time after three months (this varies by state), your lender will begin foreclosure and you will receive a notice of default or be a defendant in a foreclosure lawsuit. Whether you are required to come to court as a defendant, or simply receive foreclosure notices, will depend on whether your foreclosure is judicial or non-judicial. This will depend on the state you live in and whether your state operates under lien theory or title theory.

Non-judicial foreclosure

This type of foreclosure is an out-of-court process that occurs in title theory states and is not supervised by the court, but is controlled by statute.
In title theory states, the borrower gives up title to the property under a deed of trust, and the title is held in trust by the trustee who is a third party to the agreement until the debt is paid off. This third party trustee, under the direction of the lender, will utilize the power of sale clause in the deed of trust to conduct a non-judicial foreclosure sale.
An important benefit of non-judicial foreclosure is that lenders may not pursue deficiency judgments against borrowers for purchase-money loans secured by real property.
Non-judicial foreclosure is the main method of foreclosure in California.

Judicial foreclosure

This type of foreclosure occurs in lien theory states where the borrower retains title to his/her property, and a mortgage is considered a lien against the property.
In lien theory states, the borrowers have mortgages, not deeds of trust. There is no trustee, and the lender must sue the borrower in court to foreclose.
In lien theory states, the lenders are sometimes allowed to pursue deficiency judgments against the borrower.
In judicial foreclosure, the burden is on the lender to prove that he/she has the right to foreclose. These are states where the "show me the note" argument may be effective if there are breaks in the chain of title.

What is wrongful foreclosure?

Wrongful foreclosure is fact-specific and may be based on the lack of standing to foreclose due to a void assignment of the deed of trust, mistakes on the recorded documents attributable to fraud or negligence, or on statutory violations. Once a house is sold at foreclosure sale to a third party (known as a bona-fide purchaser), a wrongful foreclosure cause of action becomes one for damages, not possession. We help clients stop the foreclosure process whenever possible and retain possession.

Wrongful foreclosure includes loan modification abuse. This may also occur when lenders and servicers engage borrowers in the loan modification process by taking trial payments, by offering trial payment plans, or by promising modification and then breaching these promises.

California Homeowners Bill

The HBOR was enacted on January 1, 2013 to provide borrowers with significant additional rights before, during and after foreclosure including statutory damages when lenders commit statutory violations.

Your rights pre-foreclosure

California Civil Code 2923.5 requires a servicer to contact the homeowner about foreclosure alternatives before recording a notice of default. It also allows the borrower an opportunity to pursue some alternative to foreclosure. Homeowners may have many possible alternatives to foreclosure including: loan modifications, modifications under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) programs, mediation under a court-approved program, mortgage loan forbearance for temporary hardship, refinance, sale, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure, and/ or bankruptcy

Reinstatement after the Notice of Default

The business of mortgage lenders is not to do what is best for the homeowner but to maximize their own profits by systemically re-positioning your assets from you to them. With a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney you don't have to be victimized by the big lenders.

Susan Murphy

Susan M. Murphy is a California real estate attorney in practice since 1996. Ms. Murphy focuses on litigation against lenders and servicers and since the foreclosure crisis began, she has represented more than 500 borrowers in foreclosure litigation and gained a reputation for winning settlements against the big lenders such as Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America. Ms. Murphy uses her legal skill to champion the rights of individuals against the big lenders and return them to power over their financial lives.

The experience to achieve results

Ms. Murphy leads a team at Advocate Legal that consists of forensic auditors, loan underwriters, fellow attorneys, and paralegals who can use their years of experience to guide you through litigation, a bankruptcy, a short sale, loan modification, debt settlement or eviction defense -- and can be your relentless advocate.

Dedication to protecting the individual

Susan M. Murphy began her legal practice as a human rights lawyer representing refugees seeking political asylum. Ms. Murphy took on the hardest of cases involving gays, minorities and women, winning asylum for more than 90 percent of her clients. Her work as an asylum attorney writing and arguing appeals before the Ninth Circuit, coupled with her desire to help people, enabled her to make a smooth transition into representing homeowners against lenders in bankruptcies and foreclosures. In addition, Ms. Murphy leverages the power of the written word with skills honed during her six years writing asylum appeals to the Ninth Circuit as an asylum attorney.

When you feel powerless against big lenders, Susan Murphy and Advocate Legal offer compassionate support and the guidance you need to stop foreclosures and find a way to free yourself from debt. To schedule an evaluation with Susan M. Murphy today, contact us online or call 800 846 0390 today.

Practice areas

Civil litigation
Lender and foreclosure law
Quiet title

Credit disputes and credit repair
Real property refinance, sale and short sale

Bankruptcy for debtors

Admitted in California
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California
  • Bar Number: 185335
    California , 1996
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
    J.D. , 1996
  • New York University
    B.A., Broadcast Journalism , 1972
  • Institut International des Droits de l'Homme
    Certificate in Human Rights and Refugee Law , 2002

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.