Sounds like a scam to me. Call California Bar to check it out.
Please read this article from the California Bar to see if it rings any bells.
The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
Sounds very shady to me. Get the attorney's name who will be in charge of representing the class, make sure they practice law in California (and have for a while) and have a clear bar record (no discipline). You can check this out on www.calbar.ca.gov under "Attorney Search."
Most "mass tort litigation" or "class actions" select a class representative and a class of similarly situated people makes up the class which sues the defendant. Reputable class action law firms take these cases on a contingency basis, which means the plaintiff class pays nothing up front.
While it is true that attorneys have bills to pay, the answer to the question of "who's going to fund the lawyers' up front time" is: the lawyers/law firm...if they are reputable, have the funding to handle this type of litigation, and believe they have a valid case and anticipate winning.
I would be extremely suspicious if I were you.
Yes, it is. So many California homeowners have fallen victim to scams involving loan modification scams, foreclosure rescue, and "mass joinder" plaintiff lawsuits.
Each borrower's facts are unique to them, so there is no way such lawsuits could possibly be joined with hundreds or thousands of other similarly situated plaintiffs in the same lawsuit.
I agree with my colleagues comments, and suggest that you report this alleged RE law firm to the State Bar.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
There are different routes you could consider, including possibly reporting this entity to authorities, as suggested by others. There could also potentially be a civil lawsuit and claims, depending on the full circumstances of what happened to you. I have represented individuals with fraud claims and related claims in different states (and work with colleagues who do the same), and these can be strong legal claims depending on the details of what happened with you. But the first step on that would be for you to consult with an individual-rights attorney, which I'd be happy to do for free (you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org) or with another attorney who represents individuals with potential fraud issues.
To contact me directly, please email me at email@example.com. My website biography is here: http://www.pbclaw.com/our-people/attorneys/michael-brown/. My answer above is not legal advice. For legal advice, you will need to consult directly with an attorney about the details of your situation.
Unfortunately, this sounds exactly like many of the real estate scams that folks across the state have fallen victim to. Please avoid this and report the entity appropriately. There's no reason why such a fee would be necessary to participate in a class action or mass tort lawsuit.