30 N Raymond Ave Ste 801
Pasadena, CA 91103
|16 June 2012||Disbarred (7 years, 11 months ago)|
|16 August 2010||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA (9 years, 9 months ago)|
|8 December 2008||Admitted to The State Bar of California (11 years, 5 months ago)|
|16 June 2012||10-O-09520|
|6 November 2011||10-O-09520|
Ordered inactive (Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA)
|18 June 2011||09-O-13589|
Discipline w/actual suspension (Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA)
|16 August 2010||10-TE-02282|
Inactive - Irreparable injury (6007c) (Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA)
June 16, 2012
ZACHARY IAN GONZALEZ [#259663], 32, of West Covina was disbarred June 16, 2012, and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.Gonzalez stipulated to 43 counts of misconduct in 14 cases involving his failures to provide competent legal services in bankruptcy and loan modification matters. In 12 matters, he became ineligible to practice law and as a result could not complete his clients’ cases. However, he did not refund unearned fees and in some cases the clients’ bankruptcies were dismissed. Two matters were dismissed because Gonzalez didn’t file 13 required documents. In two other cases, he was not permitted to prepare and file the required documents. He also violated California law by twice agreeing to negotiate a loan modification and collecting advance fees before the work was completed. Gonzalez also did not return his clients’ files.He was suspended and placed on probation in 2011 for failing to refund unearned fees or account for advance fees, forming a partnership with a person who is not a lawyer, splitting legal fees with a non-lawyer, soliciting prospective clients with whom he had no family or professional relationship and committing acts of moral turpitude. In mitigation, he stipulated to disbarment.He agreed to make restitution totaling $60,855 to the clients in the 14 disciplinary matters.
June 18, 2011
ZACHARY IAN GONZALEZ [#259663], 32, of West Covina was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a two-year actual suspension and until he makes restitution and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect June 18, 2011.Gonzalez stipulated to eight counts of misconduct as a result of his loan modification work. He was charged in 11 cases and 12 more were uncharged. As a new attorney, Gonzalez joined Pacific Loan Solutions (PLS), a loan modification company owned by a non-attorney and staffed by non-attorneys. Initially he was corporate counsel to PLS but within a month, he began his own loan modification practice. He partnered with PLS, collected fees from his clients and gave a portion of the fees to PLS. He did not supervise work performed by the company’s nonlawyers.Either Gonzalez or PLS solicited clients through the mail and he didn’t meet all the clients. By the terms of the retainer agreement, a portion of the fees was refundable depending on what stage the modification process had advanced. For example, 70 percent of the fee was refundable after completion of the loan modification application but only 10 percent was refundable after negotiation of the modification with specified successful terms.According to the stipulation, 18 clients paid Gonzalez more than $75,000 before terminating him. He did not refund or account for any of the money. In addition, two other clients paid a total of about $7,000 to negotiate loan modifications. He did no work for one, but did not refund the fee, and refunded a partial fee to the other, who won a full refund in fee arbitration. However, Gonzalez did not pay the award.Many clients in the disciplinary complaint repeatedly attempted to communicate with Gonzalez without success. In some instances, PLS employees overstated Gonzalez’ ability to obtain a mortgage modification and told clients they could not change their mind about employing him once they signed the employment agreement. On a few occasions, PLS employees threatened to call the police if clients did not leave the premises, or otherwise demanded they leave the premises when they were there to request a refund.Gonzalez stipulated that he formed an improper partnership with nonlawyers, split fees with nonlawyers, failed to refund unearned fees, communicate with clients or account for client money, and he committed acts of moral turpitude by soliciting clients by mail that appeared to have been sent from a bank rather than his law office and by failing to supervise PLS employees, allowing them to improperly solicit clients and make misrepresentations.In mitigation, Gonzalez cooperated with the bar’s investigation.