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William S. Lee & Associates are an outright scam

We would like to report the following information and ask for a formal investigation of William S. Lee & Associates (Real estate broker) and Tim McFarlin, LLP (law firm) for clear false advertising, improper business associations between lawyers and non-lawyers, running and capping, and the unlawful practice of law. The matters are clearly documented on the William S. Lee websites (links and text below): Please put a stop to this immediately. People are being deceived and harmed by these fraudulent practices. I just lost my home to foreclosure because of these people and their scams. 1. Website links and marketing claim: SUCCESSFUL CASESTake a look at some of the successful transactions we've secured for local homeowners just like you. With hundreds of real estate short sales and loan modifications to our credit, you have our assurance your negotiations will be handled by experts. [list excluded, but contained on the site and sent in direct marketing mailers] Disclaimer: Merges [sic] and acquisitions [sic] include Bank of America with Countrywide and Merrill Lynch; JPMorgan CHASE with Washington Mutual, Bank one, Bear Stearns; Onewest Bank with Indymac Mortgage; Wells Fargo with Wachovia and World Savings. The list contains combined successful transactions from McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. The "Successful transactions" imply to the release of lender's approval letter by servicers, and does not necessarily imply to the closings. Modified interest rate may be permanent, temporary and adjustable after the trial period given by lender. Modified interest rate is rounded to 1/10th of 1%. IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAW FIRM AND FALSE ADVERTISING: they are combining the work of a law firm into their claims of success. They also have team members showing that they are lawyers or owners of a law firm called McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. See the following from the website: J. Schmidt "" General Partner As a General Partner of William S. Lee & Associates, Mr. Schmidt's firm McFarlin & Schmidt LLP has provided invaluable support in helping our clients navigate the complexities of short sale and loan modification transactions through its relationships with major lenders. Under his leadership, his firm successfully processed and negotiated over 200 loan modifications and short sales for top realtors from Coldwell Banker, ReMax, Century 21, Seven Gables, First Team Real Estate, and more. IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAW FIRM: Clearly, William S. Lee is connecting the "General Partner" of William S. Lee & Associates with the law firm of McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP. This is some type of business arrangement that is not clear from the advertising. Therefore, it is also false advertising. This again raises the specter of running and capping and/or illegal legal fee splitting (or illegal commission splitting). J. Seo "" Attorney at Law, Bankruptcy For those of our clients considering bankruptcy, we are pleased to offer the services and consultancy of Raymond Seo, one of Orange County's most knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys who also consist of an extensive network of bankruptcy attorneys in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. As a member of the California Bar since 2001, Mr. Seo plays a hands-on roll to ensure your case is handled effectively. Each case is advised, analyzed, reviewed and represented by Mr. Seo personally.Mr. Seo is committed to resolving your current financial crisis and helping you get on with your life by providing exemplary legal services in an understanding environment. Mr. Seo is a B.A. graduate of the University of California, Irvine and, a J.D. graduate of Loyola Marymount School of Law. IMPROPER BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH A LAWYER: William S. Lee claims to be "offering the services" of a bankruptcy lawyer. This is not shown as a referral, and, in fact, a number of consumers have stated that the bankruptcy lawyer was presented as part of the brokerage. Fee splitting? Legal solicitation? Running and capping? 2. Website link and marketing claim: With over 300 distressed property transactions to our credit, we're ready to explain programs, explore options and answer any questions you might have. FALSE CLAIM: They do not have "over 300 distressed property transactions" "" there is no evidence to back this up anywhere. In fact, on the next page of the website, they actually state that this number is "combined successful transaction from McFarlin & Schmidt, LLP." That's a law firm. And this brokerage is somehow taking credit for transactions completed by a lawyer. This claim is included in ALL mail solicitations from William S. Lee & Associates. There is also evidence here of possible capping and running. 3. Website link and marketing pitch: SELLER INCENTIVESUp to $35,000 CASH! That's right! Our clients are receiving large cash incentives for successfully short selling their homes. In an effort to expedite the short sale process, major lenders have recently awarded several of our clients as much as $35,000 for the successful closing of their short sales. But wait, there's more; our clients are guaranteed to receive a minimum cash incentive of $3,000 or, 1% of the sales price of the home (whichever is higher) when you short sell with us. If we don't get you the money directly from your lender, we will pay you from our earned commission! That's right! Our clients are guaranteed to receive a minimum cash incentive of $3,000 or, 1% of the sales price (whichever is higher) when you short sell your home with us. If we don't get you the money directly from your lender, we will pay you from our earned commission! When entering into a Short Sale transaction managed by the WSL Team, you are guaranteed to receive a seller incentive equal to 1% of the sale price upon closing (limited to $9,900 per transaction). The only qualifications we require are :that the homeowner has not recently filed bankruptcy and,there are no more than two "different" lien holders on the property. [[comment: this hints of BANK FRAUD]] We're very proud to offer this incentive and understand this money can be a big help planning your next move. FALSE ADVERTISING AND SUSPICION OF BANK FRAUD: All banks require an Arm's Length Affidavit in every short sale which clearly states that the seller is not to receive any proceeds from the transaction and the brokers are not paying the seller any money. Right on this website, Lee is making a guaranty of 1% or $3,000. He knows this can't be done and yet he is advertising it everywhere including in all his direct mail solicitations. Further, the "qualification" that there are no more than two different lien holders on the property is a clear indication of bank fraud. Why is William S. Lee's guaranty of cash at closing subject to how many lien holders there are? If the money comes from the commission, then the lien holder count is irrelevant. This is significant evidence of FRAUD or a complete deception of the consumer who will be told that it can't be paid at closing because of the Arm's Length Affidavit. 4. Website link and legal solicitation: While there are many options available to distressed homeowners, maximizing benefit to our clients is the goal of every solution we recommend. If you would like to explore possible solutions or think you might be a candidate for bankruptcy, please contact us today. Our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys will review your options with you and answer any questions you might have. Chapter 7 is the most frequently selected kind of bankruptcy for individuals as it is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy. Note that Chapter 7 does not excuse homeowners from paying the mortgage. A debtor who wants to keep her home must continue to pay the mortgage. It is also very important to note that filing a Chapter 7 petition will not ultimately prevent a bank from foreclosing if payments are delinquent. Please visit WSL Library to find out if Ch.7 Bankruptcy can save your home. PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE, LEGAL SERVICES AND LEGAL SOLICITATION. It is illegal for a non-attorney to solicit for legal clients. The language above is a clear solicitation of bankruptcy clientele. We believe that the real estate agents are fee splitting with the bankruptcy attorney that works out of their office (Raymond J. Seo). Further, the language above is clear: "OUR SEASONED BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS" will review your options and answer your questions. This is shown as a service of William S. Lee & Associates.
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I lost my home to foreclosure because William S. Lee and his "attorney friend" failed to do what they promised: stop my foreclosure and get the short sale done.

They get you in the door with their fancy flyer and promises of 1% money back. Then you find out that WSL & Associates is just a bunch of kids who don't know what they are doing. Promises of a kickback are useless if they can't get the short sale completed.

If you need to get a short sale done, stay away from William S. Lee and the kids at WSL & Associates.


William Lee (aka Won Lee) is running a scam. He references lawyers who don't want anything to do with him. He is showing his "successes" on his website which include BANKRUPTCY. William S. Lee is NOT an attorney so how does his real estate BROKERAGE offer bankruptcy work and then claim those BK filings as a "successful" matter for his brokerage.

Also, his offer to illegally kick back 1% of the purchase price is going to land him or a homeowner in jail. No bank will also such a kickback in a short sale.

Avoid William S. Lee and WSL & Associates at all cost. This guy is going to get arrested soon.


Rey Azada, who had a home in Brea (not Irvine), called in to our office and spoke with WSL & Associates on multiple occasions to obtain advice on his pre-foreclosure status. On 06/15/2012 he called in requesting assistance in postponing of his Trustee Sale Set for 6/18/2012 and wanted to do a short sale with our company. We told him that we wouldn’t have enough time to postpone the sale date on our end by initiating a short sale, but in a hope that he would be our future client, we had referred him to an attorney who has had success postponing the sale dates in the past.

6/15/2012 – Per Mr. Azada’s request; an email was sent requesting all necessary paperwork and documents to process (including the listing agreement). He mentioned that he was gambling in Las Vegas, and would have no computer access to send anything back so we offered to send it directly to his hotel concierge and had the documents printed and delivered to his hotel room, also instructing him that the concierge was also able to fax any documents that he needed to send. We had very little success communicating with him after that via his mobile due to him being in the casino and unable to hear the phone ring. We were able to get in touch with him one last time by calling his room and speaking with him where he had instructed us to send to him any documents required by the attorney. At no time in any conversation that took place did he intimate that he had already secured a listing agreement with another listing agent and we were acting with the full fiduciary capacity that we treat all of our principles.

6/16/2012 - We ceased to assist the homeowner after we found out that he had signed a listing agreement with Prudential California Realty. The property was listed on 06/15/2012. This is documented on The Multiple Listing Service that all Realtors should have access.

6/18/2012 - Mr. Rey Azada’s property was sold at trustee sale. It appears that Mr. Azada was acting unethically insinuating that he would like to use our services seeking our experience and expertise but obviously never had any intention in signing a listing agreement with Coldwell Banker.

We really do feel for our clients who require our service to find a solution to a difficult situation, seeking peace of mind and a graceful exit. We do wish Mr. Azada well in all his future endeavors.

Any questions or concerns, please contact us at 714-465-**** and we are happy to provide any evidence.

Additional Note: We have no relationship with Mr. Tim McFarlin, and his name was never indicated on any part of our website.


Friend:This company is using my name without my knowledge and consent. I have no connection with these people and hadn't ever heard from them before I read your posting.

I need to sue them and obtain an injunction. Will you please call me and help?

I don't have much to go on, but it sounds like you've had some contact. If we are able to recover any money from these people, I will make sure you get your money back first.Thank you,Tim McFarlin949-544-****


We recently lost our home to a certainly preventable foreclosure auction.

Two weeks before the auction date of our home, we received a very well written pamphlet from William S. Lee & Associates in Fullerton, California. We met Samuel Kim, Vice President, Managing Director and Broker for Won Seok Lee, Principal of William S. Lee & Associates (a Coldwell Banker Best Realty company) in Fullerton, California. He was by far, the most knowledgeable and reassuring person I had spoken to.

According to Samuel Kim, it will take at least a year before the bank takes over our home. He even agreed that I should not pay the bank to reinstate our loan. He knew all the tricks and everything you ever needed to know about holding on to your home; from requesting loan modification, short sales, extending the short sale period, even to filing for bankruptcy using their in-house legal and General Partner lawyers. After all, he admitted that he co-authored the pamphlet "Are you in Foreclosure? - Know your Options". We immediately trusted that he would be the person to help us. He had planted the fish bait when in our first and only meeting, he promised to call me to follow up.

We asked Prudential California to list our home for the short Sale. Three days before the auction, as we were faced with unexplained difficulties, we called William S. Lee & Associates for help. Samuel Kim and his associates moved fast to distract and slow us down, even to tampering with Bank of America Short Sale Equator data base by replacing our Short Sale Prudential Listing Agent with William S. Lee & Associates brokers name Won Lee, even promising legal help to stop the auction. Little did I know that I was the fish and the catch would be our HOME of 16 years!

Just before the scheduled foreclosure auction, in order to ensure the successful legal acquisition of our home Samuel Kim called and left a message to say that the foreclosure was postponed and not to worry.

By 5 PM, our listing agent sadly forwarded the email stating that the buyer of our foreclosed home plans to give us the dreaded 3 day notice to vacate the premises.

Sadly, William Hernandez, agent for the buyer offered to give us $1,000 in exchange for our keys.

Lately, many homes around our older neighborhood have sold. Could this be a sign that home sales are on the rise or is there a grim reality that business scams are on the rise to trick vulnerable home owners faced with foreclosures into trusting one broker's advice and having another associated brokerage out-and-out "steal" their home thru their planned associations with bank officers, lawyers and investors?

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#326226 Review #326226 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Irvine, California

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