This just in and it appears to be a huge bombshell.
They operate in NINE states and own SEVERAL companies. By far the largest foreclosure mill operation in the West.
Northwest Trustee Services operates in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and elsewhere.
This is the same Northwest Trustee Services that is buying up/starting newspaper companies in the Northwest.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company and its affiliates have in the past two years bought or started up six weekly newspapers in the Northwest. It could buy as many as 50 more in the Western states, said Rim co-founder Stephen Routh.
Strangely, the moves have more to do with the booming and controversial business of home foreclosures than with journalism.
From the bar complaint below, it appears they got nailed for Falsely Charging Clients Inflated Non-Judicial Foreclosure Publication Costs. What is most interesting about the complaint is it is from an attorney from one of the newspapers they use for publications, in which NTS/FEI
If this is proven to be widespread, which it appears to be, they could be in real trouble here.
Here is a
On January 18, 2012 attorney Michael Dillard files a complaint RE David Fennell with the state bar…
Note; 1/18/12 Rec’d Itr from C concerning fraudulent costs being billed for publication notices for non-judicial foreclosures by company owned by A. A was suspended for one year in 2004 for similar conduct in Washington. That case was handled by SRC. I also spoke with the C, who is the attorney for two central Oregon newspapers that have provided documents supporting the allegations of fraud and dishonesty. Discussed with HMH, who took the C’s call yesterday and agrees that the matter should be referred to DCO pursuant to BR 2.5(b)(2). CLIENT ASSISTANCE OFFICE REFERRAL TO DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL
Then on January 19, 2012 the bar notifies David Fennell of the complaint.
Dear Mr. Fennell:
Enclosed is correspondence from Michael Dillard regarding your conduct. Pursuant to BR 2.5(b)(2), we are referring this matter to Disciplinary Counsel’s Ofﬁce for further consideration.
This referral to Disciplinary Counsel is not, and should not be construed in any way as, a determination that any improper conduct has occurred in this case. Under Bar Rule of Procedure 2.5, CAO determines whether there is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable belief that misconduct may have occurred warranting a referral to Disciplinary Counsel’s Office for further investigation. Misconduct means a violation of the rules of professional conduct and applicable statutes that govern lawyer conduct in Oregon.
Disciplinary Counsel’s Office will conduct a further inquiry to determine whether there is probable cause that a disciplinary violation occurred. You should hear from Disciplinary Counsel’s Office within 14 days and all further correspondence should be directed there.
Please note that the bar maintains a list of Oregon lawyers who have expressed an interest in initially consulting with attorneys regarding disciplinary matters on a pro bono basis to evaluate the issues and determine if defense counsel should be retained. To obtain a copy of this list, please contact Danielle Edwards in the Member Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or extension 426.
What comes next is a fascinating 23 page letter detailing the Dishonest and Deceitful Practices of David Fennell and his company NTS Falsely Charging Clients Inﬂated Non-Judicial Foreclosure Publication Costs.
Oregon Bar Complaint