Based on 12 reviews
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I had two homes in foreclosure and needed help. After finding Mark's blog via an internet search for foreclosure defense, I hired his firm to represent me. I was allowed to make three monthly installments same as cash to his firm and his costs were about half of others I had called. I had a free consultation with one of his attorneys and this is where you want to ask all of your questions because you are basically paying for 5-6 hours of work which covers everything necessary for a full year. Do expect his assistants to email you any legal paperwork that was filed as it happens, usually same or next day. Don't expect to corner an assistant and talk their ear off during this time unless there is an absolute emergency. You aren't paying for those extra hours. I had maybe two lengthy emails from his firm concerning something i had asked them, but that was it over the two years they represented me. But, I was fine with that and knew this going in. Ultimately, he got one case dismissed within 8 months. The second case he couldn't get dismissed, but the mortgagor offered a loan mod. before it went to trial. I learned this much from watching the attorneys from both sides...Mark has a system and he follows it every time. The opposing counsel either has their act together or they don't. If they do, you will probably lose your case in the end, but you'll live in your home two years for free. If they don't have their act together, you can see it early on in their responses to Mark. There is also the luck of the draw on what judge is presiding over the courtroom the day he argues for you in court. Some of them are unsympathetic towards those who haven't paid their mortgage and no matter how strong Mark's argument is towards the specific technical legalities involved in the way the plaintiff must present his case - you will still lose. To date, he has had over 700 cases dismissed (according to his blog). That's incredible! Don't hire someone off of a tv or radio ad, call Mark.
Mark maybe the best but his staff never return calls and really act as if you are bothering them if you do call. His paralegal Cathy McKnight is the worse and you never can get her on the phone. She refuse to talk to you and sends emails with no attachments and then turn around and ask for the information back that she never sent. You get emails from the mortgage company through Cathy that she doesn't even read. I can not recommend this law firm to anyone at this time. I am considering complaining to the Bar Association, only I am afraid because my case is still pending and I paid them.
I hired Mark Stopa's office a little more than three years ago in relation to my foreclosure case.
Understandably, due to their fixed fee structure, his office only communicates when necessary.
I hired Mark Stopa as soon as the lender filed for foreclosure (about a year after I stopped making payments). I lived, rent free, in my home for more than four years. My foreclosure was initially scheduled for trial in July 2014. It got postponed to October 2014 due to scheduling problems in the court (not related to Stopa nor the plaintiff's attorney). This concerned me because my contract with Stopa's office expired in the middle of September 2014.
I did not want to pay for an extra year. Stopa's people continued working on my case, without renewing for an additional year, and without any additional expense to me, until my case was resolved on October 9, 2014.
After the initial trial date in July (which was postponed), I contacted his office many times. Their responses were very slow... sometimes as much as three weeks. I thought that they were ignoring me because I was unwilling to pay for an additional year of their representation. However, they came through in the end.
When I first learned of the July trial, I made plans to move out at the end of July. I had already rented a new place when I learned that the trial had been postponed until October. I was really concerned about having to renew my contract with Stopa because I did not want to have no representation at the trial. The plaintiff was asking for reimbursement of their legal expenses.
Not only did Stopa's office negotiate an agreement which absolved me of the plaintiff's legal expenses... they got the plaintiff to PAY ME $1500.00!!!
Overall, I am very happy with the service I received. I apologized to the staff at Stopa's office for being a pain in the butt. They did the right thing, and I am very happy with the result.
Mark Stopa is a great Lawyer who fights for his clients like a beast.He has gotten my case dismissed twice.Im not looking for a free ride but I needed the time to get my finances in order and get back on my feet.God bless Mr Stopa and his great staff.I would have been homeless without him and his hard work.He also was very fair with his fees unlike most attorneys in this field that wanted to charge a huge upfront retainer and a large monthly fee.Just go to the Pinellas county or Hillsborough county clerk websites and search for Mark Stopa and see for your self who the best trial Attorney in the state is all of these cases are public record .He has gotten a lot of cases dismissed and won Final Summary judgement for a bunch of cases.
I will never recommend him to anybody again, he has failed me and 2 people I recommend. His staff tells you we are in the discovery period just to find out that now they are telling me is hard to win my case in my county. What a BS, I do not think he fights for his clients, it feels as if you are bothering this people when you call to inquire about your case as if is free. I know is not a lot we paid, but darn at least show you care and you will fight. I regret hiring his firm, I may loose my house. They are telling me to try and get a loan modification, REALLY!! I am so pissed is not even funny. People do not trust all the things he says on his blog and social media. people think he is God gift to homeowners, NOT. Good luck to all if you hired them.
Mark handled a mortgage foreclosure for me. I met with him just 3 days before summary judgement. He was successful in that hearing. I remained in my house for 3 years, eventually selling it in a short sale. Mark definitely knows the law in mortgage foreclosures, and is excellent in front of a judge. If you are in a foreclosure definitely give Mark Stopa a call.
Defended my foreclosure case. He was able to get the case dismissed when two others attorneys who had worked on the case failed. He is not afraid of judges or other lawyers. I was able to save up money while this case was being tried. I eventually got a loan modification from my lender and I now am current with my payments. The Stopa Law Firm did not rip me off with huge legal fees. I was able to make three monthly payments to pay my retainer. I don't know what my family would have done without Mark Stopa. I would highly recommend the Stopa Law Firm to anybody facing a bank foreclosure.
Unfortunately I cannot recommend the Stopa office for anyone long distant to his Tampa office. I repeat the qualification of for 'anyone long distance to his Tampa office,' as I am sure if I had the ability to go in person, it would have been different than what I ran into.
For one, and this one surprised me as I had read glowing reviews from a handful, I never had one of my phone calls returned. The only calls I got from them, less than fingers on one hand, were to give me bad news, either I had to pay an unexpected amount more than the contract said, or to be told 5 days before a 'routine' meeting on my case I had verified twice was nothing to worry when I had called their office on my own to be sure, was now determined bad and the only choice was for me to agree to a judgment, no deficiency waiver promised. Only 2 weeks before that their staff had told me not to worry as discovery was not even done; suddenly now, forget about it, no defense possible, as the judges in my county are bad and are just deciding judgments at those meetings.
So, here the great Mark Stopa office was telling me they were not even going to try, they were giving up before going in and telling me all I could do was agree to a judgment, without even the promise of getting a deficiency waiver. Their solution on that? Told me to hire a bankruptcy attorney to take care of that. Yeah, lots of care and feelings, not.
Huge disappointment as I paid the same $$ as anyone else and got abandoned. I feel if I was local it would have been different. But being on the other side of the state, I found it as if I had signed up as a free-loader and any thing doing with my case was like I was out of place and a beggar taxing their valuable time, rather than a paid-in-full client.
I have to add that since my budget was limited, I could not afford the add on services of trial, appeals, and so it seems if you can only pay for the straight defense, you will get minimum defense. While I was okay with that, I was not okay when his office told me everything was fine when I was specifically calling on a motion that seemed like it could be trouble, but when it appears they got to the point of actually looking at the motion I was talking about, 5 days before the meeting, they had a change of mind, and refused to even try to test if any defense would work, by refuse, I mean the paralegal staff though I don't know if they were repeating Stopa's words on that to me or their own views.
I mean, really, giving up before you go in is what I expect from a bad firm, not from this one. Can't say I blame Stopa himself, but maybe his staff, as I got the treatment they certainly would not have given themself. If they had gone in trying to see if they could overcome this meeting, and had failed, I would have felt they had tried all they could. But to refuse to try, and give the excuse why because the judges are not cooperating? Excuse me? Why should I roll over and die before I have been shot down? I thought this kind of tenacity was what made the Stopa firm different, but I found in my case that some of that advertised 'difference' is just that: all hype and not true across the board for all.
Could be if you can meet them in person and develop a rapport with key persons in the staff, you can expect good defense. But if you can't, you stand the chance of being treated rudely and like you are a bother, and a welfare case, even if you pay the same amount of money. There is a term for that: 'partiality'.
I wish greatly my story was different, that I had glowing praise for how tenacious Stopa fought for my case, but instead the ending was lame, shameful. It gave me the impression they were working for the judge, instead of me, working for the system to speed through older foreclosures, instead of for the homeowner. Thus for certain I can not recommend to someone in my county his firm. However, I honestly believe if you are in his county you will get great service.
I did not know much of what was going on, so I had to trust that he is doing the best he can for me, under my circumstances. I have been ill and foreclosure is not part of my life. He could not save my house for me, but somehow, I know he is doing everything he can. He cannot work miracles. It is all a very sad situation. It is hard to deal with such sadness and come out looking like a winner. He cares very much. You can trust him.
I can not recommend Mr. Stopa enough! This man's expertise in foreclosure defense is second to none. The time and effort he put into defending our case made us feel as though we were his only clients. He put us at ease through one of the toughest times in our life, and yes he did get our case dismissed, however even if our case didn't get dismissed it would not have been for his lack of knowledge or commitment and I would still be telling everyone (yes even family) that this is the man they want in their corner. This man truly cares for his clients. God bless you Mark, we will be forever grateful for you!!!