I was facing several disputes with my home mortgage that was being foreclosed upon, and I needed a lawyer. I hired Adela Ulloa on a referral. I selected her because she did a good job selling her services, but mostly she offered to represent me for a monthly retainer fee I could afford. I signed a retainer agreement, and started making payments consistently without missing an agreed upon installment. A very important element for me was that she would serve as lead counsel for my case and it would not be assigned to subordinates. After filing suit against the mortgage servicer, we began settlement negotiation. I received a settlement offer that was 90% acceptable and made a counter offer. Ulloa refused to submit this counter offer. Instead she sent me multiple lengthy emails stating repeatedly why she is refusing to carry out my request to counter, and even though settlement authority in this state is entirely with the client. | She argued she “already knew” the answer to my counter and would, therefore, not submit it as her reputation was too important for her to go against the servicer’s offer. She put her personal interest above mine as her client, and acted as though she represented the servicer and not me, in my opinion. Ulloa not only refused to convey my proposed counteroffer, but when the matter did not settle, she punished me by billing me massively for all the endless emails arguing why she refused to submit my counter offer. | On a Friday, later, she sent me an email with an “updated billing statement”. The email demanded that I confirm and agree to the new payment plan that same day or she would no longer represent me. I was being coerced to new terms without an attorney, and was not advised of my right to have the new agreement reviewed by independent counsel. | She threatened not to appear at a hearing the ensuing Monday. Her monthly retainer fee tripled suddenly, and attached was a surprise bill of an astronomical amount, which she referred to as an “investment” into my case. This took me by surprise because we had a written agreement that that all costs were covered by the fixed monthly retainer. Also per our agreement, she could only change the hourly rate with 30 days notice. Here, she wanted to give me a weekend! And use the threat of withdrawing before a court hearing. | I reminded her of the terms of my agreement and pointed out that she could change the monthly payment amount, only her hourly rate and that I was entitled to 30 days to reject or accept her new terms. She completely disregarded the originally set terms and demanded that I either agree to her new terms or she would no longer represent me – she threatened to move the court to be relieved as counsel. She subjected me to tremendous stress while I was in a battle with my mortgager. Her business practices as an attorney with me were unethical, and she used time and a court hearing against me. If this doesn’t feel like a gun in the chest, than what does? | I was terrified and had no idea if she will even send someone (again) to the hearing, so I showed up at the court. She sent a young lawyer fresh out of law school on her behalf – he knew nothing about the case. It was also revealed by the Judge then that ONE OF THE KEY DEFENDANTS WAS NEVER EVEN SERVED! … but I was billed for it. | The focus shifted from litigating my case to pressuring me towards triple fees without any legal grounds. I did not agree so she demanded that I sign a substitution of attorney form right away. But, since I fulfilled every part of our agreement, I refused to be pressured to do so until I acquired another attorney. Besides, I had paid through that month of her monthly retainer and the next installment was not due yet. She nonetheless filed a motion to be relieved. I got billed for this as well. I attended the hearing; she did not – she again sent a law freshman on her behalf. | As mentioned earlier, she has never once showed up at court for my case. She was operating from New York and declined every in-person meeting I requested. | I can only warn those considering hiring her that they may find themselves in the same trap. It is my opinion that Ulloa’s aim is not to win your case, her aim is to get you to sign a retainer agreement and than drive your case to a point of no return, and back you in a tight corner at a very critical juncture, to than demand triple fees or drop your case. Don’t fall for the low entry fee she offers! I do not believe she really cares to keep her clients from losing their homes. | Everyone who has negative experience with her should have the courage to speak up and protect other innocent people going through tremendous hardship.
Law Offices of Adela Z. Ulloa, APC