Business of Law
Foreclosure Law Firm Sues Bankruptcy Attorney Who Questioned Its ‘Systematic Overbilling’
Posted Aug 13, 2012 11:04 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
A bankruptcy attorney who questioned a New York foreclosure law firm's billing practices has been sued for defamation by the firm, Long Island-based Rosicki Rosicki & Associates.
Peter Grubea, who has the highest volume bankruptcy caseload in the western region of the state, said in a March post on his website that he was "currently investigating the billing practices" of the Rosicki firm, adding that "we believe that the charges imposed ... are unfairly high," reports the Buffalo News.
Grubea also said he was litigating the same issue in a bankruptcy case, expected further state-court litigation and asked those who had been involved in foreclosure cases handled by the Rosicki firm to contact him about a potential claim for money damages.
In a filing in a bankruptcy case in which Grubea was trying to get a client's mortgage debt reduced, he accused the Rosicki firm and affiliates of being "engaged in the systematic overbilling of New York homeowners for all of the foreclosure-related services they provide." He contends that the firm both charges excessive legal fees, based on higher downstate rates, throughout New York and overcharges for routine paperwork that may or may not actually be required in a particular case, according to the article.
In response, the foreclosure firm, which is operated by Thomas and Cynthia Rosicki, filed a defamation suit against Grubea. They contend he publicly libeled their firm by making false and defamatory statements "directed squarely at destroying both the business and reputation of plaintiffs."
The Rosicki firm says it charges the same standard rates as other law firms and suggests that Grubea overstated his claims either to try to gain an advantage in negotiations on behalf of a client or based on personal animosity.
ABAJournal.com: "Judge Kills Foreclosure Over Law Firm’s Late Verifications, Speculates re ‘Conflicted Robosigner’"