California Bar Suspends Attorney for Illegal Foreclosure Evictions of Tenants
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Two years after Tenants Together demanded that attorney David Endres stop illegally evicting tenants, the State Bar of California has suspended Endres from practice. Endres has been notorious for pursuing eviction actions on behalf of major banks after foreclosure in violation of federal, state and local law. The Bar suspended Endres from practice for six months and ordered Endres to pay the costs of the proceeding in the amount of $4,000.
Dean Preston, Executive Director of Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, welcomed the news of disciplinary action, but called for stronger sanctions: “We are pleased to see the Bar taking action to police unethical eviction lawyers, but this 6-month suspension is not nearly enough. David Endres should be disbarred, if not put in jail. His fraudulent robo-signing eviction mill caused the mass eviction of thousands of tenants and undermined the integrity of the judicial system. He should never be permitted to practice law in this state again.”
Joelle Peebles, a Tenants Together member, was illegally evicted by Endres in 2009. Peebles lived in McKinleyville, CA when her landlord stopped paying the mortgage. The home was foreclosed in June 2009 and she received an eviction notice from Endres. She promptly notified Endres’ office that she was a tenant entitled to at least a 90-day notice before eviction. Nonetheless, Endres filed an illegal eviction action against her, forcing her from her home prematurely. Peebles filed a complaint with the State Bar, one which likely led to the recently announced disciplinary action.
According to Peebles, “Endres’ illegal eviction turned my life upside down for no good reason and caused enormous stress for me and my husband. I’m glad to hear he is finally being disciplined, but it’s too little too late. I’d like to see him lose his law license and be forced to compensate all the tenants whose homes he seized improperly.”
Endres has handled thousands of eviction cases on behalf of major financial institutions including U.S. Bank, HSBC, and Aurora Loan Services. The August 23, 2011 suspension order from the State Bar notes that he filed over 1,000 cases between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 alone. To accomplish these mass filings, Endres had non-attorney staff prepare verified pleadings and sign on his behalf. Endres knowingly submitted false verifications to the court. The Bar concluded that “respondent aided the unauthorized practice of law, in willful violation of Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1-300(A)” and “sought to mislead judicial officers, in willful violation of Business and Professions Code section 6068(d).”
Tenants Together has long identified Endres as one of the worst violators of tenants’ rights after foreclosure. In an August 2009 letter to Endres, Tenants Together wrote: “We believe that your conduct, particularly your refusal to promptly dismiss these cases once learning that tenants are at the property, violates your ethical obligations as an attorney in California. Please remember that tenants are innocent victims of these foreclosures. The least you and your bank clients could do is comply with the basic protections they are provided under federal, state and local law.” Endres never responded.