This Agreement may be executed in multiple counterparts by the parties hereto. All counterparts so executed shall constitute one agreement binding upon all parties, notwithstanding that all parties are not signatories to the original or the same counterpart. Each counterpart shall be deemed an original to this Agreement, all of which shall constitute one agreement to be valid as of the date of this Agreement. Documents executed, scanned and transmitted electronically and electronic signatures shall be deemed original signatures for purposes of this Agreement and all matters related thereto, with such scanned and electronic signatures having the same legal effect as original signatures. This Agreement, any other documents necessary for the consummation of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement may be accepted, executed or agreed to through the use of an electronic signature in accordance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-Sign Act”), Title 15, United States Code, Sections 7001 et seq., the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (“UETA”) and any applicable state law. Any document accepted, executed or agreed to in conformity with such laws will be binding on each party as if it were physically executed.
In consideration of the mutual promises contained herein and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto agree as follows:
A. Remuneration. In complete and total consideration for the services rendered by Client under this Agreement, Client agrees to pay VANTAGE GROUP LEGAL SERVICES CORP (Herein referred to as “VANTAGE”, VANTAGE GROUP”, and/or “Company”) with all remittances made payable to “VANTAGE GROUP LEGAL SERVICES CORP”:
(i) Initiation Fee: a Sign-up Fee in the amount indicated on the online order details upon signing; and
(ii) Monthly Service Fee: a Monthly Fee in the amount indicated on the Online Order Form on the day this Agreement is executed (upon signing) and thereafter throughout the term of this Agreement. Upon 15 days written notice to Client, Vantage Group may adjust the next Monthly Service Fee stated in this Agreement. Client may cancel this Agreement within 15 days of such notice from Vantage to adjust the Monthly Service Fee; otherwise the adjusted Monthly Service Fee shall replace the then current Monthly Service Fee.
B. Costs: Client agrees to pay all third-party expenses, including, but not limited to: court reporter fees, case related costs, experts and other fees, as deemed above and beyond the customary fees necessary to reach the objectives of the Client, as determined solely by Client’s Assigned Attorney(s). Client will pay for these expenses in full and in advance upon request of Vantage Group. VANTAGE HAS NO OBLIGATION TO ADVANCE OR PREPAY ANY COSTS, FEES, AND/OR EXPENSES ON BEHALF OF CLIENT. Client has the sole and exclusive responsibility for any and all costs, fees and/or expenses related to the Client’s Case. If Vantage pays any Costs, such payment shall not be deemed a waiver of Client’s responsibility to pay those Costs or any future Costs pursuant to Agreement. All Costs are due immediately upon notice to Client.
C. Term of Agreement: Client may at any time terminate this Agreement with the tendering of thirty (30) day advance written notice to Vantage. Vantage may at any time for any reason terminate this Agreement with the tendering of thirty (30) day advance written notice. Client agrees to exclusively retain Vantage and no other group service legal plan for a Term of Agreement and for twelve (12) months thereafter. The intended term of Agreement is until Clients Case is dismissed, or is legally evicted from the Client’s Property by the Sheriff’s department, and upon such eviction, this Agreement may be terminated by Client (effective date of notice to Vantage, after such eviction), unless Vantage is owed money or Client is obligated by another provision of this Agreement. The initial term shall be for twelve (12) months (“Term”), subject to this Agreement. Term shall commence on the date first set forth above and shall automatically renew at the end of each Term for a six (6) month term, unless Client tenders written notice of termination to Vantage at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the then current Term. Client’s retention of Vantage shall not commence nor be effective until Vantage has confirmation of payment pursuant to Section B(i) above.
D. Conditions and Stipulations: This contract is subject to the Conditions and Stipulations set forth on the following pages, which Conditions and Stipulations are made a part of this contract.
E. Disclosure: Vantage Group does have Members, Managers, Employees, Contractors and Agents that are licensed Illinois Real Estate Brokers and/or licensed Illinois attorneys.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have signed and entered into this Agreement on the date that first appears above or on the electronic order form. The prevailing language to negotiate and agree to the terms set in Agreement, have been American English. THE CLIENT(S) HAVE FULL AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE THIS AGREEMENT. No agreements have been made that interfere, conflict, modify and/or supersede Agreement from its original format. All Clients have read, consulted with, and acknowledged all the terms set forth in Agreement and by signing below promises, warrants and guarantees to abide by Agreement.
CONDITIONS AND STIPULATIONS
1.1 RETENTION: Vantage agrees to provide access to an attorney licensed in the state where Property is located as approved by Vantage regarding Client’s Case (referred to as the “Assigned Attorney”). The services provided by the Assigned Attorney shall be limited to the defense of a property lien and related eviction concerning Property. Client understands and agrees that Vantage shall pay Assigned Attorney for Client’s representation, regarding Case. Client understands and agrees if Client does not pay the Remuneration as agreed, or is in default of any responsibilities in this Agreement, Vantage may immediately stop any and all services and/or payments to Assigned Attorney and/or other third party(s), and Assigned Attorney may withdraw as counsel for Client. Any services, costs, fees and/or expenses incurred for Client’s Case are the responsibility of Client pursuant to Agreement.
1.2 MANAGEMENT: Vantage does not, and cannot, take responsibility for the engagement of Assigned Attorney. The attorney-client relationship with any attorney is solely between Client and the attorney engaged. Vantage is not being represented by Assigned Attorney in the Case. Vantage does not interfere with the attorney’s independence of professional judgment.
1.3 RESULTS: CLIENT UNDERSTANDS AND AGREES THAT VANTAGE AND ASSIGNED ATTORNEY HAVE NOT PROMISED OR GUARANTEED, IN ANY WAY, ANY RESULTS TO CLIENT. When defending Client’s rights in Case, Client may be ordered to forfeit Client’s Property and be forced to move from Client’s Property. Other results may also occur based upon the unique situation of each Client’s Case. Results for other Vantage Clients are not indicative of results for Client. Client understands and agrees that any statement, information, results, processes, promises and/or arrangements made by any party other than Vantage, shall not be deemed as a statement, practice and/or promise by Vantage and Vantage expressly nullifies any such information, promise and/or arrangement.
2. LITIGATION CONSULTING SERVICES.
2.1 SERVICES: Vantage shall provide Litigation Consulting Services to Assigned Attorney and Client’s Case pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 201(b)(3) and this Agreement. Client hereby authorizes Vantage to have access to all documents and data for Client and Case, and Vantage shall maintain document and data as confidential, and only for the use of Vantage and Client.
2.2 ATTORNEY: Client agrees to allow Vantage to obtain information relevant to Case from Assigned Attorney and/or any third party. Client shall execute any necessary documents to allow access and negotiation regarding this information. Client shall be truthful in all discussions with Vantage and its Assigned Attorney and provide all information or documentation enabling Assigned Attorney to provide competent legal representation. If Client withholds information or fails to respond to information requests, Vantage may terminate Agreement, and Assigned Attorney may withdraw its representation to Client. Upon Client’s default of any part of Agreement, Vantage has the right to immediately terminate Agreement and stop all payments of any kind and all of its services without notice to Client.
3. MORTGAGE RESCUE FRAUD ACT.
3.1 RESTRICTED SERVICES: Client acknowledges that Vantage, and its employees, independent contractors, members, managers, owners and agents are not acting as “Distressed Property Consultants” under the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act, 765 ILCS 940 et seq. and it DOES NOT AND WILL NOT PERFORM LOAN MODIFICATIONS; THEREFORE IT DOES NOT AND WILL NOT:
(a) STOP OR POSTPONE THE FORECLOSURE SALE OR STOP OR POSTPONE THE LOSS OF THE HOME DUE, TO NONPAYMENT OF TAXES;
(b) OBTAIN ANY FORBEARANCE FROM ANY BENEFICIARY OR MORTGAGEE, OR RELIEF WITH RESPECT TO A TAX SALE OF THE PROPERTY;
(c) ASSIST THE OWNER TO EXERCISE ANY RIGHT OF REINSTATEMENT OR RIGHT OF REDEMPTION;
(d) OBTAIN ANY EXTENSION OF THE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH THE OWNER MAY REINSTATE THE OWNER’S RIGHT WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPERTY;
(e) OBTAIN ANY WAIVER OF AN ACCELERATION CLAUSE CONTAINED IN ANY PROMISSORY NOTE OR CONTRACT SECURED BY A MORTGAGE ON A DISTRESSED PROPERTY OR CONTAINED IN THE MORTGAGE;
(f) ASSIST THE OWNER IN FORECLOSURE, LOAN DEFAULT, OR POST-TAX SALE REDEMPTION PERIOD TO OBTAIN A LOAN OR ADVANCE OF FUNDS;
(g) AVOID OR AMELIORATE THE IMPAIRMENT OF THE OWNER’S CREDIT RESULTING FROM THE RECORDING OF A NOTICE OF DEFAULT OR THE CONDUCT OF A FORECLOSURE SALE OR TAX SALE; OR
(h) SAVE THE OWNER’S RESIDENCE FROM FORECLOSURE OR SAVE THE OWNER FROM LOSS OF HOME DUE TO NONPAYMENT OF TAXES.
4.1 DEFAULT: If Client is in default of Agreement, Vantage has no responsibilities, under Agreement. Client holds Vantage harmless for any claims if Client is in default of Agreement.
4.2 PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION: Client agrees to allow Vantage and Client hereby authorizes Vantage to automatically withdraw the Monthly Service Fee from a bank account, accounts, and/or charge upon a credit or debit card, provided by Client at any time, unless paid by Client in full and cleared funds, prior to the due date. Vantage shall debit the Monthly Service Fee on or around the Commencement Date stated above and the Monthly Recurring Fee stated above every 30 or 31 days on Clients payment cycle thereafter for the duration of the Agreement. Client agrees that Vantage is not responsible for any late-fees, overdraft fees, or other charges upon Client’s account for the withdrawal of funds or the charging of a credit or debit card for the Monthly Service Fee. Client shall immediately reimburse Vantage, for any charges incurred by Vantage for collections, including but not limited to: non-sufficient funds, charge-backs, declines, account closed, collection efforts, legal fees and related costs, fees and/or expenses, as it is related to any monies owed to Vantage. Client hereby acknowledges and authorizes Vantage to use any means available to collect any unpaid balances owed by Client.
4.3 EVICTION: If Client signs this Agreement prior to the Court entering a Default Judgment or Judgement of foreclosure against Client, and if Client is forcibly evicted from Client’s Owner Occupied Property by a Sheriff of the county where Property is located within the first ninety (90) days of Client signing this Agreement, then Client may, upon written notice to Vantage within thirty (30) days of such eviction, cancel this Agreement and be entitled to a full refund of all fees paid to Vantage, excluding Costs. If the eviction was wrongful, as determined solely by Vantage’s diligence, for any reason, Vantage may request Client to continue Agreement. If, after Vantage requests to continue Agreement and Client still wishes to cancel this Agreement, Vantage shall have the right of subrogation of any and all claims of Client for any wrongful eviction case or related actions, if Vantage refunds money to Client.
4.4 CASE: If, at any time, a judgment is vacated or the Case is dismissed for any reason other than: 1) Reinstatement; 2) Short sale; 3) Consent foreclosure; 4) Deed in Lieu of foreclosure; or 5) Loan Modification; Client agrees to pay Vantage the amount of the Monthly Service Fee multiplied by ten (10). This amount is due upon the Case being dismissed or judgment being vacated. All amounts paid under this paragraph shall be credited to Client if a new case is filed within 12 months of the dismissal of Case and Client enters into a new agreement, or renewal or extension of Agreement with Vantage within the 12 month period.
4.5 SETTLEMENT: Client agrees to pay Vantage thirty percent (30%), of any settlement and/or monies received from Case, less the amount of money previously paid to Vantage (no monies can be discounted for loan modification or principal reduction.) Client hereby authorizes Vantage to place a lien on any case and/or settlement in the benefit for Vantage and affirms that any attorney and Assigned Attorney shall disburse based after payment is made to Vantage. This does not apply to any excess money made by Client if Client independently sells property. This paragraph survives the termination or expiration of this Agreement.
4.6 COLLECTION: ALL AMOUNTS OWED TO VANTAGE NOT PAID TIMELY SHALL ACCRUE INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 9% PER ANNUM (00.75% PER MONTH) AFTER DUE DATE UNTIL PAID IN FULL. Client agrees to pay any and all reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs and any other fees incurred by Vantage in any collection proceedings for the non-payment of the Monthly Service Fee and/or Costs.
5. RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS.
5.1 EMPLOYEES: Client shall not, during the term of this Agreement and for two (2) years after termination of this Agreement for any reason, directly or indirectly: (i) encourage any employee of Vantage or its successors in interest to leave their employment with Vantage or its successors in interest; or (ii) employ, hire, solicit or cause to be employed or hired or solicited (other than by Vantage or its successors in interest), or establish a business with, or encourage others to hire, any person who was employed by Vantage or its successors in interest at any time during the term of this Agreement or the Assigned Attorney.
5.2 NO INTERFERENCE COVENANT: Client agrees that at all times he or she will not distract, damage, impair and/or reduce Vantage’s business in any manner. Client shall not act in opposition of Vantage’s business. Client agrees to be loyal to Vantage. Client hereby agrees not to circumvent any payments to Vantage.
5.3 NON-DISPARAGEMENT: Client agrees now, and after this Agreement terminates with Vantage, not to disparage or defame Vantage and/or Vantage’s: managers, members, officers, clients, customers, vendors, and/or affiliates, in any respect or to make any derogatory comments, whether written or oral, regarding Vantage or its current or former officers, directors, employees, attorneys, agents, or contracting parties, and its business, affairs, and/or operations.
5.4 ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES: Client will not request Vantage or Assigned Attorney to engage in any illegal, unethical, or fraudulent conduct. If Vantage or Assigned Attorney determines Client has acted or failed to act in a manner which results in illegal, unethical, or fraudulent conduct, Vantage may terminate this Agreement without notice.
5.5 DISCLOSURE: Client agrees that it will not disclose this Agreement to any party without the other party’s consent.
6. SURVIVAL OF UNDERTAKINGS AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.
6.1 SURVIVAL: The provisions of Section 5 shall survive the termination of the term of this Agreement irrespective of the reasons therefore.
6.2 ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Client acknowledges and agrees that the restrictions imposed upon Client by Section 5 and the purpose for such restrictions are reasonable and are designed to protect the trade secrets, confidential and proprietary business information and the continued success of Vantage without unduly restricting Client’s future practice of his/her profession. Furthermore, Client acknowledges that in view of the trade secrets which he/she has or will acquire or has or will have access to and the necessity of the restrictions contained in Section 5, any violation of any provision of Section 5 hereof would cause irreparable injury to Vantage and its successors in interest with respect to the resulting disruption in their operations. By reason of the foregoing, Client consents and agrees that if he/she violates any of the provisions of Section 5, Vantage and its successors in interest as the case may be, shall be entitled, in addition to any other remedies that they may have, including money damages, to an injunction to be issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, restraining Client from committing or continuing any violation of such sections of this Agreement. In the event of any such breach of the provisions of Section 5, Client further agrees that the time periods set forth in such sections shall be extended by the period of such breach.
7.1 RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION: Client shall at point of first notice, indemnify, defend and hold harmless Vantage, its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, directors, Clients, shareholders, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, from any loss, cost, claim or action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) brought against Vantage by any Client and/or third party, where said loss, cost, claim, allegation or demand arises from any negligent act or omission or intentional misconduct of Client related to the services provided to Vantage under this Agreement.
7.2 DAMAGES: Vantage shall not be liable to Client for any special, incidental, punitive, indirect and/or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with any cause of action arising in regard to the Project and/or this Agreement.
8. COMMUNICATION. Only Client, and/or Assigned Attorney, may contact Vantage. Vantage will not communicate to any other third party on behalf of Client, as Vantage shall communicate only with Client and Assigned Attorney to protect the privacy of Client, unless otherwise agreed to or Vantage is acting on behalf of Client under the instructions of Client and Assigned Attorney within the law. Client shall notify Vantage and the Assigned Attorney in writing of any change of Client’s contact information.
9. MEDIATION. Except as to any action initiated by Vantage for the collection of any fees and/or costs due hereunder: Client and Vantage (hereinafter “Parties”, each individually hereinafter, “party”) agree that, before resorting to any formal dispute resolution process (including any legal proceeding) concerning any dispute, claim, or controversy arising out of or in any way relating to this Agreement, they will use their best endeavors to settle such dispute, claim or controversy by negotiating with each other in good faith. To this end the Parties with full authority to settle the dispute shall negotiate and consult with each other in an effort to find a just and equitable resolution that serves their respective and mutual interests, including their continuing professional relationship.
(a) The complaining party must give the other party written notice of any dispute, claim, or controversy (the “Notice”). Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the responding party shall have 15 business days after receipt of the Notice to submit a written response to the complaining party. Written documents, exchanged between the parties, should include, but not be limited to, the following: 1) Statement of position; 2) Summary of arguments, facts and any documents (photos, written correspondence, etc.) that support each party’s position, (summary not to exceed 20 pages); 3) Names and titles of the party principals who will represent each party in negotiations; and 4) Names and titles of all others participating in the negotiation.
(b) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the party representatives shall meet at a mutually acceptable location within 30 business days after receipt of the Notice. The parties shall have 48 hours to complete the negotiation. Party representatives agree to document any and all resolutions or partial resolutions to the dispute in writing and sign and date the document.
(c) If the parties are unable to completely resolve the dispute through negotiation, or if the responding party fails to respond to the complaining party’s Notice within 15 business days, the parties agree to mediate their disputes at ADR Systems.
(d) The mediation will be administered by ADR Systems and the ADR Systems Commercial Fee Schedule in effect at the time of filing the request for mediation. Either party may file a written request for mediation with ADR Systems no sooner than 48 hours after the close of negotiations and no more than 30 days after the close of negotiations. The parties’ covenant that they shall participate in the mediation in good faith and that they will share equally in the costs. The parties will cooperate with ADR Systems and each other in the selection of the mediator and the scheduling of the mediation within 14 days from the date of submitting the dispute to mediation. The date of the mediation session must be within 60 days from the date of initiation of the mediation.
(e) If at the conclusion of the mediation, or, if no mediation is conducted, 45 days after the date of the request for mediation, the parties have not completely resolved the dispute, the parties agree to proceed to binding arbitration administered by ADR Systems. The arbitration hearing will be conducted in accordance with the ADR Systems Rules of Commercial Arbitration and the ADR Systems Commercial Fee Schedule in effect at the time of filing the demand for arbitration. Either party may commence the arbitration by filing a written demand for arbitration with ADR Systems along with the requisite filing fee. The parties’ covenant that they shall participate in the arbitration in good faith and that they will share equally in the costs. The arbitration will take place in [desired location], before [one or three] arbitrators selected from ADR Systems Commercial Panel. The award rendered by the arbitrator(s) is final and binding, and may be entered into any court or tribunal having jurisdiction thereof. Any court of competent jurisdiction may enforce the provisions of this paragraph. The party seeking enforcement is entitled to an award of all costs, fees and expenses, including attorney’s fees, to be paid by the party against whom enforcement is ordered. ADR Systems may be contacted at (800) 423-7010; Attention: Commercial Case Manager to assist with any questions regarding the arbitration process.
10. ENFORCEMENT. The failure of VANTAGE at any time, to require performance under the provision of this Agreement shall not affect the right to enforce the same. No waiver by VANTAGE of any condition or breach of any term, covenant, representation or warranty of Agreement whether by conduct or otherwise in any one or more instances, shall be deemed to be or construed as a further continuing waiver of any such condition or breach.
11. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be construed pursuant to the laws of the State of Illinois. The state and federal courts located in the city of Chicago, Illinois, is the chosen forum for any disputes which the parties cannot resolve among themselves. All parties consent and agree that Illinois courts shall have personal jurisdiction over them in respect to all disputes based hereon, or arising out of, under or in connection with this Agreement and all parties agree to comply with all requirements necessary to grant jurisdiction in the courts of the State of Illinois located in Cook County. Any of Vantage’s legal fees, including, but not limited to attorneys’ fees, court and/or related costs and expenses resulting from the Vantage’s enforcement of this Agreement shall be paid and/or reimbursed by Client.
12. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. The parties agree that each party and its counsel have reviewed and revised this Agreement and that the normal rule of construction to the effect that any ambiguities are to be resolved against the drafting party shall not be employed in the interpretation of this Agreement or any amendments or exhibits thereto.
13. NOTICES. Except as otherwise expressly provided for herein, all notices from Vantage shall be in writing and shall be either hand delivered, emailed and/or by mail courier (FedEx, DHL, UPS and/or US Postal Service). All notices from Client shall be in writing and shall be mailed by courier: FedEx, DHL, UPS and/or US Postal Service. Any notice from Client to Vantage must have delivery notification proof.
14. ASSIGNMENT. Vantage may assign its rights, interest and/or obligations under this Agreement without Client’s prior consent to any entity which may be a successor to Vantage in any form or conduct.
Neither this Agreement nor any right or interest hereunder shall be assignable by Client.
15. SUCCESSION. This Agreement contains the final and entire understanding of the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and no amendment, modification or alteration of the terms hereof shall be binding unless the same shall be executed in writing, dated subsequent to the date hereof and duly executed by each party hereto. Vantage shall be able to amend this Agreement with fifteen (15) day written notice to Client.
16. SEVERABILITY. If any provision or term of this Agreement is found to be invalid, void or unenforceable, the remainder of the provisions shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be affected, impaired or invalidated.
17. HEADINGS. Titles to Sections are for informational purposes only.
18. COUNTERPARTS. This Agreement may be executed simultaneously in one or more counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which shall constitute one and the same instrument.