Hello, I'm Linda.
Linda Tirelli, Esq., a National Leader in Consumer Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Defense, has been featured by:
“My family always told me I was going to be a lawyer even when I was little kid,” said noted White Plains, NY, Bankruptcy attorney Linda Tirelli. “I would never shut up. My father called me Windy because I was always arguing, debating, and standing up for my brothers and sisters. So in the back of my head I knew I was headed in that direction.”
Today attorney Tirelli is nationally recognized for her legal skills as a bankruptcy attorney, litigator and “bank slayer” when it comes to uncovering fraud in consumer foreclosures. Her hard-hitting approach when dealing with financial institutions along with her attention to detail in spotting mortgage document inaccuracies, mistakes, and illegalities of every stripe, has also made her tops in her field. Her skills have not gone unnoticed, not only by her peers and her clients, but by the national media as well. She is often called upon to share her legal know-how on consumer issues by such news outlets as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, NY Post, LA Times, American Banker, USA Today, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Bloomberg News, among others.
The third of five children, Tirelli grew up in Rockland County, NY and attended college at Albany University graduating with a degree in political science. During her time as a student, she also served an internship in the law office of Buffalo State Senator, Anthony Masiello, an experience that further set the foundation for the career to come. Married right out of college, she relocated to Connecticut with her husband, enrolled in law school at Quinnipiac University and within four years had two children, her daughter, Anya, and her son, Anthony. “I did take one year off from law school,” she said, “so I graduated law school in 1995. Quitting was not an option.”
Tirelli launched her legal career working for a boutique law firm in Connecticut focusing on bankruptcy and personal injury cases but left the legal world in 2000 when she took on the role of managing her husband’s franchise business. She remained in that role for a number of years when the law once again beckoned and Tirelli decided to get back in for good and practice bankruptcy law. As it turned out, it was a match made in heaven and Tirelli was soon on her way to the top of her field. She credits much of her success to what she’s learned from attending annual sessions of intense study at Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp, a specialized training program that teaches lawyers how to fight predatory lenders.
“I started going to Max Gardner’s Boot Camp in 2008 and have since attended twenty multi-day sessions over the years,” Tirelli explained. Max Gardner is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in America in the area of Predatory Mortgage Servicing and the standing of Mortgage Servicers in consumer bankruptcy cases. His position on the front lines of the war against predatory lenders and mortgage servicers is legend in legal circles. The boot camp, located in Shelby, NC, attracts lawyers from all over the nation.
“I learned so much from that first program that I continued to attend new sessions on new topics all the time. Changing methodologies, new resources, and creative legal challenges to be made to financial institutions, mortgage servicers and foreclosure mills are continuing to come to light and I want to know about all of them to best serve my clients.” In doing so, Tirelli has gained a formidable reputation as having a "keen sense of sniffing out fraudulent foreclosure documents," as reported in an American Banker. The article cited her defining the legal validity of the widely used and accepted term "robo-signer" (a systemic fraud in the mortgage industry) to the United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who was seemingly clueless as to the legality of the terminology. Detailing chapter and verse on its use, she set him straight. In fact, the writer of the American Banker article said of Tirelli, "In my opinion - and in this realm - she ranks as a lawyer of Wonder Woman stature!"
While Tirelli’s over twenty year legal career is highlighted by many shining moments, she credits her best has to do with Wells Fargo Bank, America’s largest mortgage servicer. “I call it the ‘gold sparkle manual moment,” said Tirelli. “A lawyer friend asked me to check out a posting online from a 19 year-old student at the University of Minnesota that needed guidance on how to make a particular legal citing for a term paper he was working on. The student mentioned that the citing was part of a Wells Fargo manual that he had and rather than describing it to me, he posted the entire manual on an online board. As I read it, I realized it was a blueprint for fraud.”
In fact, the 150-page manual included sections on how to fabricate mortgage documents if they were missing in a legally contested case. “It literally explained things like ‘If you need a note endorsed, fill out this form and send it to this department, if you need a notarized signature, send it to that department,” Tirelli said. At the time she was in the midst of a Wells Fargo Chapter 13 on behalf of a client that had questionable mortgage documents and Tirelli used the information in her case. In a stunning 30-page decision Judge Robert Drain, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York’s Southern District, blasted Wells Fargo for false documents it used in trying to prove its right to foreclose on Tirelli’s client. The media immediately picked up on it and the story made national headlines. “That was my finest hour,” said Tirelli.
Over the course of her twenty-plus year career Tirelli and has been awarded numerous prestigious awards including the 2014 National Annual Award for Distinctive Service by the National Association for Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the 2014 Women of Distinction Award, among others. She also serves on numerous boards, is regularly active in legal symposiums and conferences and a body of her work is included as testimony before congress where she was with being the first consumer attorney to force Chase Bank to admit that the documents submitted in a consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure case were “factually inaccurate”.
“I love what I do,” said Tirelli. “I work hard, I’m very hands on. My clients often tell me that they feel empowered for the first time after years of fighting. I sometimes think of myself as a ‘Columbo’ or ‘Erin Brockovich,’ fighting for what is right one case at a time,” she said. To celebrate her successes Linda has a large "victory bell" mounted to the wall in her office. Every time she wins a case and the opposition is ordered to pay costs and fees on her side, she rings it loud and clear. "It's the best sound in the world," she said. "Music to my ears!"