LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently disbarred Bruce Anthony Thomason, a Laguna Hills attorney, for allegedly accepting advanced fees in loan modification matters.
The March 12 order found that Thomason was guilty of multiple acts of misconduct in three separate client matters. In the first matter, the attorney charged nearly $4,000 in advanced fees for loan modification services, which was made illegal in the state several years prior. In addition, Thomas also allegedly failed to release client paperwork in a timely manner.
In the second client matter, Thomason was charged with failing to perform legal services with competence for his client. The attorney also violated the California Rules of Professional Conduct for not only accepting ,pre than $2,000 in advanced fees but also for representing a client in a loan modification matter in Florida, where the attorney was not licensed.
The final matter included charges against Thomason for accepting $2,700 in advanced loan modification fees and for appearing on behalf of his client without authority. For this matter he was also charged with not updating the address on file with the California State Bar's Membership Records. In all three matters, Thomason was charged with failing to respond to the state bar after a Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC) was sent to him.
Thomason failed to participate or provide a response to the state bar during the investigation. A default response was entered on his behalf, and the State Bar Court of California recommended disbarment.
Thomason, a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, was admitted to the California State Bar in 1989. He had one prior instance of discipline, an 18-month suspension in 2015 in which he was also ordered to pay restitution to 12 clients. He was charged with multiple acts of misconduct including collecting advanced fees for loan modification. matters, failing to return unearned fees and not responding to client status inquiries.