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FBI raids Raleigh law office

Posted April 18, 2012
Updated April 30, 2012

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— A dozen federal agents combed through files Wednesday at a Raleigh law office that specializes in real estate closings.

The FBI was at Rose Law Firm, at 1701 Jones Franklin Road, for several hours, but agents declined to comment other than to say they were in the middle of an investigation.

They left Wednesday afternoon after loading several boxes of files and a laptop computer into a black minivan.

Real estate agents showed up at the law office for a closing Wednesday morning, but Raleigh police sent them away. A loan officer who also was denied access to the office said he has 10 closings scheduled at the firm in the next three days and hasn't been able to contact anyone there.

The North Carolina State Bar disciplined the law firm's owner, Philip Rose, last year after determining that he had falsified closing forms in the 2006 sale of a Cary home. The State Bar stayed a one-year suspension of his license, provided that he allow random audits of his files.

State Bar officials said they don't know the reason for the raid.

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  • elcid liked Ike Apr 19, 2012

    "Realtors and mortgage brokers always try to steer you to certain lawyers. Why? We should chose our own lawyer period."

    You certainly can (and should) retain your own attorney to be present at closing and represent your interests if you wish. The closing attorney almost always represents the interest of the lender, not the seller or purchaser. Many people mistakenly assume that, because they are paying closing costs, the closing attorney represents their interests. In the absence of a signed agreement to the effect that the attorney is representing multiple parties in the transaction (agreed to by all parties), this is not the case.

  • beckerunc Apr 19, 2012

    Realtors and mortgage brokers always try to steer you to certain lawyers. Why? We should chose our own lawyer period.

  • dakjlmk2 Apr 19, 2012

    Dear Calvin Cole, you have no idea what they did or did not do. The fact is, the attorney that dealt with the loan I mentioned, was dishonest in the presentation of the loan at signing and misrepresented the loan along with the loan officer. It was not the attorney in question here, it was another practice. Secondly, I mentioned how one of the co owners was fully aware of the descrepancy in the loans stated income, because he personally knew that there was NO WAY the income was almost ten thousand dollars a month. The fact is, that there are many loan officers who have frauded loans, I gave one example and YES the attorney's office misrepresented the loan and presented it as two people taking out a loan, when afterward one became a "NON-BORROWER". I never said that all attorneys are bad, I'm saying it does happen and in this case it most certainly happened. Therefore, in my opinion, the loan officer, co owner of the business and the attorney are all guilty in this particular case

  • pink2 Apr 19, 2012

    Just because they are taking documents from the law firm does not mean it is the attorney who is being investigated. It may by a buyer or mortgage company. I know many lawyers and have to say as a group they are no worse than any other group of people and most are honest and work hard for their clients. They are just in the spotlight. If most people do something wrong on the job they get fired but if an attorney does it is a news story.

  • elcid liked Ike Apr 19, 2012

    "Rose should have been disbarred."

    After reading the 2011 disciplinary order re: Mr. Rose, I'm inclined to agree. At the very least an active suspension was merited.

  • not my real name Apr 19, 2012

    Thank you elcid liked Ike. You are correct.

  • ligonmaterial23 Apr 19, 2012

    A lawyer doing somthing wrong ?! Say it aint so ! lol

  • elcid liked Ike Apr 19, 2012

    Also, to clear up the apparent confusion, there are two distinct entities that come into play when using the term "bar". One, the NC State Bar, is a state agency tasked with regulating the legal profession in NC. This is the agency that licenses attorneys to practice in NC (after certification from the Board of Legal Examiners that the candidates have passed the bar exam), and the agency which investigates alleged misconduct by attorneys & metes out disciplinary measures related to the same.

    The NC Bar Association is a private, voluntary membership organization for attorneys which has no role in regulation of the legal profession. It is not a state agency and is separate & distinct from the NC State Bar.

  • elcid liked Ike Apr 19, 2012

    "R/E attorneys do not make correction to income amounts on an application! They confirm the identity of the parties involved and go over each document page by page explaining what it is and answer legal concerns. Notarize and record the doc's. They are victims of the L.O.'s that sent them business." - calvincole

    Thank you! People seem to be grossly misunderstanding what the role of an attorney at a closing is. It is NOT to do due diligence on the terms or provisions of the loan, or on the borrowers ability to repay. While closing attorneys do perform many functions at closing, it is NOT their role to ensure that the buyer can afford (or will continue to be able to afford) the loan.

  • jet9192 Apr 19, 2012

    I know for a fact that your rights to practice law in the State of N.C. will be taken from you by the BAR if you are guilty of wrong doing. This happened to a family member and he was not allowed to work for 6 months. Morally, he was right in what he did but it was decided that by law, he was not. So for all of you who think the BAR does nothing, they look at each case and make a determination by the law that covers the situation.

    I really feel for these people who were set for closings and cannot close on the properties. I feel sure if it is proven that Rose Law Firm is in the wrong, the attorneys involved will be disbarred.

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