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Posted by on Oct 16, 2010 in Fraud | 11 comments | Print Print

Bando Follow-Up

Eric Wolff has done a good job covering the story about Michael Pines, the foreclosure-chasing attorney.  Here’s a link to the initial story about former owners breaking into their old home in Escondido on Tuesday:

Here is how it’s unraveling:

Two families broke into their foreclosed houses Tuesday in Escondido, and as of Friday, real estate agents had taken one of the houses back, the broker for the Kimball Street house said.

Encinitas attorney Michael T. Pines advised the two families that their houses had been foreclosed through fraud and that they should take them back, which the families did.

A day later, representatives of ERA Property Movers in Escondido, the real estate agency selling the house for the lender, returned to the Kimball Street house armed with documents showing their client had ownership, said Carollynn Holemo, manager of the Escondido office.

She discovered that the previous owners, the Rocha family, hadn’t moved anything in.

“It went smoothly,” Holemo said. “They didn’t lock the house. All we did was resecure the house.”

ERA Property Movers had a locksmith rekey the lock, and agents checked the house twice a day to see if the Rochas returned.  Eva Rocha said she knew the agents had been back to the house when she saw their “For Sale” sign restored to its position in the front yard, but she didn’t even try the doors.

“I haven’t worried about it right now,” Rocha said. “(Pines is) probably going to tell me to change the locks, but I don’t want to play that back-and-forth game. I’m waiting for him to take care of it.”

That is indeed the advice Pines gave to another client, the Earl family of Simi Valley; the Earls also broke into their foreclosed house last week.  When a judge on Friday gave the lender a new writ of eviction, Pines promised that within an hour of being thrown out, the family would return, Pines said in a later interview.

Meanwhile, the other family that broke into a foreclosed home Tuesday in Escondido, the Bolanoses, said it had heard nothing from real estate agents or their property’s putative owners.

On Wednesday, Emiliano Bolanos swept the driveway and did some gardening, while his wife, Gloria, scrubbed the kitchen. The pair remained nervous, and hadn’t moved the family back into the house as of Friday afternoon.

“We’re a little worried,” Emiliano said. “We don’t know what they’re going to do.”


In this story, other attorneys are questioning the tactics of Mr. Pines:

Even if the laws could be applied, the result would not mean returning the homes to people who hadn’t been paying their mortgages.  “It’s not like you get a free house. It’s never been ‘You get a free house,'” said Deborah Raymond, a Del Mar real estate attorney.

“I think he’s advising a Wild West mentality of handling cases,” said D.W. Duke, a Temecula real estate attorney. “I don’t think that’s the way attorneys should practice law. I think we have laws, and we have civil remedies through the courts for a reason.”


  1. This attorney doesn’t have leg to stand on…sounds like a publicity stunt.


  2. All these attorneys are stupid or just want free PR. There was one attorney on John and ken show ( KFI 640) last night saying he could not understand the ARM term of his client. John are Ken were skeptical .I think that lawyer is just too stupid at understanding basic math or just using the client for free PR to get on radio.


  3. I know nothing about law. Can this Pines guy lose his license or what?


  4. What a gawdawful mess, Pines gets publicity, the families get the shaft.


  5. YAY! to the judge for executing the writ of eviction. If they go back, I hope they all get arrested. How has CPS not taken away the kids?


  6. This guy here has lived in his house without paying for 32 months and wants to teach others how to do it…

    This could be a great business opportunity, IMHO.


  7. Holy moly, Kingside.

    When the lights are out, the cockroaches really do come sauntering out….


  8. This will cause people to be even more leery of buying a foreclosure property. What a mess! I’m still waiting to hear if there will be ANY punishment for the bankers who brought this whole thing down on us.


  9. What would be great is if this couple gets thrown in the slammer and fined for trespassing and then they sue this Pines attorney for malpractice on the grounds of him advising them to break back into the house. And then, to top it off, the banks get massive fines for all their shoddy work,

    Well, a boy can dream….


  10. Attorney Michael T. Pines is DESPERATE to get his failing law practice (1 year old) on the map and get more business.

    Michael T. Pines is calling the MEDIA to come to the properties he’s breaking into to PROMOTE himself and make a spectacle of his unsuspecting clients. Michael T. Pines is bankrupt, he can’t save HIS OWN 6 foreclosed properties, and it’s important to note: he’s not breaking into his OWN foreclosed properties.

    Attorney Michael T. Pines LOST HIS OWN HOME and case against EMC Mortgage (see decision below); and is about to lose his 6 other properties which he’s trying to protect in BK.
    Michael T. Pines filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on January 11, 2010, he miserably represented himself and it was converted to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Just GOOGLE “MICHAEL T. PINES” to see his background.

    Pines has NEVER won a case against a mortgage company. Pines sued EMC mortgage regarding his own foreclosure and lost. The judgments can be found online under UTAH COURTS.

    and here:

    MICHAEL T. PINES has TWO Restraining Orders against him in San Diego County. You can find his Restraining orders on the San Diego County Sheriff’s website. Just type in “PINES” under *Restrained Last Name*. This is the Sheriff’s website:

    ALL of Pines’ foreclosed properties are ALL LISTED ONLINE IN UTAH, SAN DIEGO AND AK. Yeah, he’s Bankrupt and has MANY foreclosures….a credit nightmare. HE CAN’T HELP HIMSELF! HOW ON EARTH DO CLIENTS BELIEVE HE CAN HELP THEM?

    Pines’ foreclosed properties are as follows:

    1. 5 South 500 West Unit #1216, Salt Lake City UT 84101
    2. Case # 09-81657 – 1273 22nd Street, Ogden, UT
    3. Case # 09-81658-1246 South Meadow Run, Saratoga Springs, UT
    4.Parcel #010610036- 2336 Madison Ave. – Utah
    5.732 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024 – law office building!
    6. Case # 1171481-21 Murphy Drive, Bella Vista, Arka



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