Similar names, very different guys

Brandon Eric Hintz is not well known in Sacramento’s legal community yet, but the third-generation lawyer may soon follow the path blazed by his father and grandfather, both prominent attorneys in the region.

The 29-year-old Hintz was admitted to the State Bar in June, has served as a volunteer attorney in the office of Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully and hopes to become a prosecutor.

So he was more than slightly astonished Dec. 1 at a Sacramento Bee story on the disbarment proceedings against attorney Kristin Lynn Day that incorrectly named him as one of Day’s business associates.

“I was shocked, mad ...” said Hintz, a former high school football star and, as of Oct. 19, a newlywed. “My reputation is everything in this business, and it could be ended very quickly from something like that.”

The Brandon Hintz named in State Bar documents involving Day actually is a 39-year-old businessman named Brandon Steffon Hintz, according to the State Bar.

That Hintz did not respond to interview requests left by message on his cellphone or in writing at his Orangevale home.

But officials say he is the subject mentioned in State Bar documents as a participant with Day in a mortgage loan modification company.

The original Nov. 18 State Bar press release on Day’s disbarment proceedings named him simply as “Brandon Hintz” but since has been adjusted to reflect that it involved Brandon Steffon Hintz.

Regulatory documents filed in Washington state accuse a “Brandon Hintz” of operating as a mortgage broker without a license, and Lyn Peters, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, confirmed the case was against Brandon S. Hintz.

She added that he has yet to pay the $10,000 fine or other penalties levied against him. That case involved a company called The Now Brand Inc. that was doing business as Shortrefinow.com and listed Hintz as chief executive officer.

Hintz and Shortrefinow.com also were named in a 2009 document from the California Department of Real Estate that ordered him to desist from engaging in real estate transactions without a license.

The State Bar says in court documents that Brandon S. Hintz, who is not an attorney, partnered with Kristin Lynn Day in February 2011 in a company called United Foreclosure Attorney Network to offer consumers help in mortgage litigation and debt-related matters.

The bar contends that UFAN used legal assistants who solicited clients and practiced law without a license.

“Many of the homeowners who sought help from Day’s company to save their homes were already in foreclosure or had tried loan modification and been denied,” the bar said in a press release. “The legal assistants worked from a script, claiming that litigation could hold off foreclosure and that it was the client’s best bet to reduce their mortgage payments.”

Day, 34, is formerly of Roseville and faces the loss of her license to practice law, pending a final decision by the California Supreme Court.

The State Bar said Day “stipulated to 10 counts of misconduct including aiding in the unauthorized practice of law, sharing fees with non-lawyers, failing to perform legal services with competence, failing to return unearned advanced fees, collecting an illegal fee and moral turpitude.”

The case against Day stems from the State Bar’s increased efforts to crack down on attorneys and loan modification fraud scams.

Day told The Bee in November that some of the accusations against her are not true and that she did not know Brandon S. Hintz had faced regulatory sanctions in Washington and California until after they started working together.