By Christine E. Springer
Welcome to the new Desert Edge Legal Services blog! Some of you may know me because I used to blog over at Foreclosure Industry News.
I started DEL in 2007, and it was my first shot at being an entrepreneur. The first year or two I was in business, I focused on setting up LLCs and corporations. I was also a certified legal document preparer and drafted documents for people who weren't represented. (I don't do that anymore, however.)
I quickly realized that I knew nothing about finding clients, so I began learning how to market my business. I attended a lot of networking events, and met a lot of people, and set up a lot of LLCs.
As we all know, things became difficult for a lot of us during the Great Recession. Around the real estate market crash in 2007, the people I'd met at networking events began asking me for help with their home loans.
I moved to Phoenix from St. Louis in 2006. I have extensive experience as a paralegal. You can read more about what I did before I became an entrepreneur on my LinkedIn page. (Send me an invite if you want to connect there!) I also have an MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, a BS in Management, and an AAS in Paralegal Studies.
My paralegal experience profoundly influenced the way I approached helping people with mortgages. There were a lot of people who wanted to help but had no idea how things really happened in law firms or in courtrooms, or how things really played out.
I always thought homeowners should work with a lawyer on loan modifications, and I began working with Beth Findsen to help people get loan modifications. We quickly learned that the banks weren't going to modify loans, and things escalated into litigation.
By now you've probably heard about the "sound bite" legal arguments: "produce the note" and "UCC-note-split-from-the-deed" and "securitization is illegal" and I'm sure there are many others.
The bottom line is that here in Arizona, none of those worked. In 2010, I met Arizona attorney Barbara Forde, who had trouble with her own mortgage. I showed her what to look for in her own documents, and after a lot of research, she went on to win her own lawsuit against her bank.
Additionally, Barbara went on to help others in Arizona and had fantastic results on almost every case she has worked on, and certainly all the cases where I'd audited the loans prior to the lawsuit.
Then, in early 2014, she got a landmark legal victory in the Steinberger case, which benefits homeowners in the State of Arizona. I will be posting the details on these cases in the future.
Although I was and still am passionate about the foreclosure issue, the old site, Foreclosure Industry News, started to feel quite limiting after Barbara's victory last year. I had not posted anything on FIN since January of this year, and finally my brother told me he had to take it down.
In the meantime, I'd been doing writing for my brother Mark's clients, and learned a lot about search engine optimization ("SEO"). Mark is an SEO expert, and at the time, he built my sites were on WordPress. WP was great for awhile, but eventually I wanted to update the site layout and make changes. I couldn't do that because it was too technical for me.
I've always considered myself a writer, and not an SEO expert or site designer. I'd talked to Mark at length about the problems I was having with WP, and spam had become a concern, too. He told me at one point that he was considering moving to another platform instead of WP.
For some reason, that conversation stuck in my mind (as I'm writing about it four or five years later!) and I decided to look for another platform to use for blogs instead of WP.
This blog runs on Ghost, which I found after that conversation with my brother. At that time, they had just finished getting their first round of crowdfunding and the first edition wasn't ready yet. I waited for the first public edition and built another blog on it.
It's so easy to use, and I can manage the entire thing from start to finish. So, it was obvious that when Mark said he had to take my other sites down, that I would build a new site with Ghost.
I also had another site, DIY Mortgage Review, which was also taken down. Since I already felt like the foreclosure site was no longer a good fit, I decided to reorganize and rebrand all my projects in a way that made room for the new things I want to do.
Since DEL is a legal services company, there is so much more I can do now that foreclosure isn't front and center. I developed a proprietary auditing method that legitimately discovered the problems in a foreclosure case. There are so many things I learned from looking back that can benefit everyone going forward now that the economy is recovering.
There are so many topics to write about under the "legal" heading that I can write here, too.
I hope you'll subscribe to this blog! Click the subscribe button on the homepage, add DEL through your Feedly stream, and don't forget to check us out on Facebook, too!