A lawyer representing The Bulletin of Bend and the Redmond Spokesman
newspapers has filed an ethics complaint with the Oregon State Bar against an executive of the Northwest's largest foreclosure trustee, accusing the company of secretly marking up the cost of foreclosure legal ads to its lender clients.
Michael Dillard, of the Karnopp Petersen law firm in Bend, filed the complaint last week against David Fennell, a lawyer and a principal owner of Northwest Trustee Services, which by its own account has handled more than 250,000 foreclosures.
Dillard alleges that Northwest Trustee and its advertising operation, FEI, charged its clients an undisclosed 18 percent premium over the actual price. These "deceptive and dishonest" tactics, Dillard said, allowed FEI to collect from its clients about $360,000 more than it actually paid for the foreclosure notices published in the Redmond newspaper just since 2009.
Those costs were then presumably passed on by banks to homeowners and others, Dillard said.
Stephen Routh, CEO of Northwest Trustee Services, denied that FEI was charging a secret premium. "The markup was fully disclosed to it customers," Routh said. "It's how they make a profit."
Read More: OregonLive.com
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