Legal Ethics

Foreclosure Lawyer Goes Extra Mile, Helps Clients Break Into Their Former Homes

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Amidst a national debate over the extent to which courts and lawmakers need to put the brakes on lenders who reportedly may have filed thousands of defective mortgage foreclosure cases, attorney Mike Pines reportedly is going the extra mile for his clients.

As others talk and making court filings, he has taken more extreme action, advising clients and even helping them to break into their former homes, after a judgment has already been rendered for the lender, according to the Orange County Register and the Developments blog of the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this week, Pines was arrested, along with his 72-year-old client, Rene Zepeda, for an act of what he refers to as civil disobedience in response to an “illegal” eviction without a trial–breaking into Zepeda’s former home with a hammer. The long arm of the law was immediately at hand to book the two for trespassing, because Pines had alerted Newport Beach in advance about the plan, according to the Register. He also reportedly advised his client that he could expect to get arrested.

“These homeowners have been out of their house for more than a year,” Pines told the Register. “That’s long enough. They deserve to get back in because it’s legally theirs.”

In a follow-up interview by the Developments blog, Pines, who is 58, indicated he had no regrets:

“Some of the great people in this county, the world, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, had to get arrested,” he said. “I just felt that I had to stand up for my clients.”

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