Attorney Billing

Colorado foreclosure lawyer must turn over documents in bill-padding probe

A Colorado judge has ordered a lawyer to turn over documents in a state investigation of whether, among other questionable billing practices, some foreclosure lawyers have been padding their bills by inflating their expenses, the Denver Post reports.

Under the ruling Thursday by Denver District Court Judge Edward Bronfin, attorney Robert Hopp Jr. has 60 days to turn over the subpoenaed documents to the state attorney general’s investigators. Hopp had asked that the documents be kept from the public, but the judge found there is an “overriding public interest.”

The newspaper also reported interest from “a handful of foreclosure lawyers listening intently from the back of the courtroom.”

Hopp was one of more high-volume foreclosure lawyers in Colorado, but closed his firm in April and last month filed for personal bankruptcy.

Lawyers handling foreclosures can be reimbursed for certain expenses, such as running public notices in newspapers advising homeowners of their rights. Investigators say that sometimes lawyers inflated these expenses by as much as 10 times. The reimbursement funds come from homeowners, foreclosing banks or those buying the properties at foreclosure.

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