Sherron L. Lewis Jr., who recently was sued by Colorado Attorney General for allegedly charging fees for advising people to file frivolous lawsuits to stop foreclosure actions, has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois, InsideRealEstateNews.com has learned.
Suthers has filed an objection to Lewis’s confirmation of his bankruptcy, according to court documents.
“The Debtor (Lewis) is the subject of an investigation by the Colorado Attorney General as a result of his alleged deceptive schemes targeting vulnerable homeowners in foreclosure with the offers to stop the foreclosure process in courts,” Suthers wrote on June 28 in the objection filed with the Northern District of Illinois bankruptcy court. A month later, Suthers filed a separate lawsuit against the 53-year-old Lewis, which, among other things, said that one of his alleged victims is a quadriplegic in Jefferson County.
Suthers declined to discuss Lewis beyond court documents and the press release his office released in late July. Lewis, for his part, denied all of the allegations in several e-mails to InsideRealEstateNews.
Suthers: Lewis encourages specious legal actions
“Though (Lewis) is not licensed to practice law and has been the subject of an investigation into the unauthorized practice of law, the Debtor (Lewis) allegedly provides ‘legal” advice to homeowners and encourages the filing of specious legal challenges to foreclosures,” Suthers wrote in the bankruptcy documents. Chapter 13 allows debtors to reorganize their debts under supervisions of the federal bankruptcy court system.
Lewis, who for more than six years has been advising distressed homeowners, seeks business through his Web site, www.illegalforeclosures.com. Suthers wrote in the bankruptcy filing that Lewis has “either shifted his activities from Colorado to Illinois, or expanded his activities to include Illinois.” In his lawsuit against Lewis, Suthers charges that Lewis is suspected of occupying an elderly Illinois woman’s home rent-free for more than a year. When the woman attempted to repossess her own home, Lewis filed a lawsuit against her claiming racial discrimination, according to Suthers.
Lawsuit, bankruptcy objection raise similar issues
Many of the alleged offenses in the lawsuit, were previously presented by Suthers in the bankruptcy filing. For example, he wrote that last year, Lewis “caused a quadriplegic man in Colorado,” to pay him “several thousand dollars to assert a filed legal challenge to a foreclosure.”
In his response to Suther’s objections, on July 20, Lewis vehemently denied the charges. Lewis, in his filing, he also notes that he is African American and “unrepresented by counsel,” indicating those may be reasons why Suthers is objecting to the confirmation of his bankruptcy plan.
“The Debtor has not violated any laws, has not engaged in any practices prohibited by law and challenges the State of Colorado to produce any complaints, other than those coerced or inducted by the State of Colorado or it sanctions, filed against the Debtor related to the allegations contained in Colorado’s Objections,” Lewis wrote in one part of his 15-page response.
Corruption alleged against attorney general
At one point, Lewis writes that he has no control, “nor does anyone else, over the decision of corrupt entities such as the State Attorney General’s Office to open investigations for the express purpose of casting aspersions on and defaming those unlawfully targeted, as is the case here.”
Lewis, in the bankruptcy filings, also wrote that Colorado is experiencing a “foreclosure crisis directly fueled by the deaf ear and blind eye to the open door policy towards any creative form of mortgage fraud imaginable; the same type of conduct the Attorney General’s Office is obligated to but has completely failed to address…Not only has the State Attorney Generals Office failed miserably to protect and serve the citizens of Colorado as the law mandates, but it has deliberately ignored rampant abuses administered as a matter of custom, practice and policy having the force of law, that permits home theft by lawyers and persons or corporate entities absent legal authority by virtue of their own documents presented to the Colorado Courts.
Practicing law charge dismissed
In the filings, Lewis also includes letters from John S. Gleason, Regulations Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, noting that he dismissed “without prejudice,” one of two investigations that Lewis had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Evidence for the investigations had been submitted by Arapahoe District Judge Cheryl Post.
“We have spent literally hundreds of hours attempting to contact over 30 homeowners to whom we believe Mr. Lewis provided mortgage related legal services,” Gleason wrote to Post on April 28. “Despite these efforts, these individuals have either not been found and/or are not wiling to assist in our investigation. Thus, the Office of Regulation Counsel has determined that the circumstances here do not warrant injunctive proceedings against Sherron Lewis for this matter, but we are still vigorously pursuing your second request…” In his bankruptcy filing documents, Lewis said he had been the subject of a “witch hunt,” by the Attorney Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, and he is facing the identical “abuse” by Suther’s office.
Lewis cautioned not to practice law
Gleason also wrote to Lewis that, “in the interest of judicial economy, we have decided to dismiss this matter without prejudice at this time.” In the same letter, he goes on to say to Lewis that “you are cautioned to avoid any unauthorized practice of law in the future.”
Lewis: Allegations untrue
In an e-mail to InsideRealEstateNews, Lewis had this to say: “It’s very easy for an entity such as the AG’s office to make the unfounded and unsupported allegations it has made and then immediately disseminate it as fact simply because of the expectation and belief (his emphasis0 that the attorney general would not have an agenda outside of protecting (his emphasis) the citizens of Colorado. My response? The allegations are untrue in their entirety.”
When asked byInsideRealEstateNews whether he had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, Lewis replies that there is a “legal term called “statutory construction,” which means in simple terms, the law says what it says. You don’t stretch it, you don’t twist it, you don’t distort it, you don’t give it your own meaning, the law says what it says……so forth and so on.”
When InsideRealEstateNews then asked Lewis if he had graduated from law school, passed the bar, and received a law license in Colorado, he did not respond. Pressed whether he practiced law without having graduated from law school or passing the bar exam, he indicated those are the wrong questions.
“Your understanding is erroneous, which is why I took the time to explain statutory construction to you and recommended that you obtain a copy of the statute from the individuals making claims against me,” Lewis said in an e-mail. “If you don’t care to exercise due diligence here, there is probably no point in further dialogue.”
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.