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Foreclosure Mediation Webinar for Housing Counselors Mediation Update September 16, 2010 Martin O'Malley GOVERNOR Anthony G. Brown LT. GOVERNOR Raymond.

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Presentation on theme: "Foreclosure Mediation Webinar for Housing Counselors Mediation Update September 16, 2010 Martin O'Malley GOVERNOR Anthony G. Brown LT. GOVERNOR Raymond."— Presentation transcript:

1 Foreclosure Mediation Webinar for Housing Counselors Mediation Update September 16, 2010 Martin O'Malley GOVERNOR Anthony G. Brown LT. GOVERNOR Raymond A. Skinner SECRETARY Clarence J. Snuggs DEPUTY SECRETARY

2 Make the most of the Webinar Press *7 to unmute your phone To Ask Questions Click on Raise Hand Type in Chat box

3 Agenda Outline Program Model from 8/9 call Role of Legal Partners Role of Housing Counselors Form needed to make a referral Next steps. Questions

4 Purpose of the Call Update housing counselors and other partners on Maryland Foreclosure Mediation Program, Introduce Legal Partners in the Maryland Foreclosure Mediation Program, and To identify issues for partners in Maryland Foreclosure Mediation Program.

5 DHCD HOPE Hotline Counseling Network Legal Referrals CC: DHCD Pro Bono Low Bono HOPE Program FY-11 Legal Aid MVLS & Reporting CJ Others PBRC Attorney Trainings & PBRC Workshops (as needed) CJ of Counsel Panels

6 Update on Maryland Mediation 28 Mediation Sessions were scheduled First Mediation session last week was successful in reaching settlement Activity is increasing Mediation fund was at approx. 200K as of September 8, 2010 iation.asp for site information iation.asp

7 Pro Bono Resource Center 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1990 as “pro bono arm” of Maryland State Bar Association Mission is to promote equal access to justice in Maryland by coordinating and supporting volunteer civil legal services, providing resources and support for legal advocates for the poor, and promoting cooperation within the legal community Led Maryland Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project initiated in July 2008

8 Foreclosure: Pro Bono Resource Center Recruit Maryland attorneys to provide pro bono legal representation and advice to Maryland homeowners Coordinate training of attorneys on Maryland foreclosure laws and new mediation process Recruit pro bono attorneys to provide free legal advice to homeowners at statewide public workshops and mediation orientation sessions Continue working in partnership with housing counselors at public workshops Direct homeowners to most appropriate legal resources

9 Legal Aid Founded in 1911, the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. ("Legal Aid") is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income Maryland residents from 13 offices statewide. Mission: to provide our clients with high quality legal advocacy to protect and advance basic human rights. Legal Aid’s areas of practice include housing, health care, government benefits, family, child advocacy, consumer, education, and employment.

10 Foreclosure: Legal Aid Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project will provide representation to low-income residents of Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties at foreclosure mediations, as well as providing continuing legal representation, in foreclosure cases when mediation is unsuccessful. Clients who meet the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) guidelines will be eligible for Legal Aid services. Legal Aid’s goal is to assist at least 275 homeowners facing foreclosure over the next year. Legal Aid will also assist eligible homeowners with other related issues such as unemployment benefits and bankruptcy.

11 Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects low-income Marylanders in need of civil legal assistance with pro bono attorneys. MVLS provides free (and in some cases low cost) legal representation to Marylanders with limited income. Each eligible client is matched with a volunteer lawyer who has the appropriate skills to provide quality representation.

12 Civil Justice, Inc. Civil Justice, Inc. is a Maryland not-for- profit corporation formed for the purpose of increasing the delivery of legal services to clients of low and moderate income while promoting a statewide network of solo, small firm and community based lawyers who share a common commitment to increasing access to justice through traditional and non-traditional means.

13 Foreclosure: Civil Justice “ Low Bono” legal services to eligible clients Continue to develop curriculum to train pro bono attorneys Continue to provide mentoring to pro bono project attorneys Maintain Of Counsel panel for Housing Counseling agencies

14 Legal Partners: Geographic Service Area PBRC Statewide Civil Justice Statewide Legal Aid Free legal services to clients in Baltimore City, Montgomery Co., Prince George’s Co. MVLS Pro Bono/All other counties not covered by Legal Aid Overlap in Baltimore City

15 Roles of the Partners in the Project Civil Justice: Train legal partners and counseling agencies in loss mitigation strategies and process. Lead low bono referral program statewide. Legal Aid: Provide free legal representation for homeowners in Baltimore City, Montgomery Co. and Prince George’s Co,. for mediation. (2 dedicated staff attorneys.) MVLS: Case placement of pro bono legal services. PBRC: Key workshop participant. Recruit and train volunteer core of attorneys for foreclosure prevention )

16 Determining Eligibility: Pro Bono Homeowners must live in the property in foreclosure Must not own any other property or a time share. Must not be currently represented by an attorney or in bankruptcy. Legal Aid will accept referrals of clients in bankruptcy if they do not already have an attorney

17 Determining Eligibility- Pro Bono Services General Income Family Size Assets Other Circumstances & Hardships Unemployment Disability Seniors

18 Family Size Annual Income Monthly Income Weekly Income 1$26,367$2,197$507 2$34,480$2,873$663 3$42,593$3,549$819 4$50,707$4,226$975 5$58,820$4,902$1,131 6$66,933$5,578$1,287 7$68,454$5,704$1,316 8$69,975$5,831$1,346 9$71,496$5,958$1,375 10$73,017$6,085$1,404 Determining Income Eligibility based on MLSC Guidelines- Pro Bono

19 What should be included as Assets for Pro Bono Services Legal Aid and MVLS have asset limits which may make a client ineligible, but generally do not disqualify most income eligible clients Screening for assets will be done once the case is referred to either Legal Aid or MVLS

20 Role of Housing Counselor If/when the client receives the Final Loss mitigation Affidavit and request for Foreclosure Mediation, you should Help the client to opt-in to mediation by sending in correct material in the preprinted envelope(s) and enclosing the $50 court fee or requesting a waiver of the fee. You can make a request for legal assistance by filling our the appropriate referral form and sending it to the appropriate referral agency You can still work to obtain a modification for the client. (coordinate with the legal service provider)


22 Where to refer clients If your client is eligible for free Legal Assistance, they should be sent to Legal Aid or MVLS. Legal Aid - Baltimore City, Montgomery Co. or Prince George’s Co. and to MVLS – All other counties in MD. If your client is not eligible for free legal assistance, they should be referred to Civil Justice to retain a low bono attorney for a $500 fee.

23 Form for Referral to Legal Services


25 Form should be sent via email to Civil Justice (if low bono eligible) MVLS (if pro bono eligible) Legal Aid- Clients should call Legal Aid Foreclosure Legal Assistance Number (number will be set up by September 1) With a cc: to DHCD HOPE MAILBOX

26 Ineligible Clients – Next Steps Create Online Handbook and Tutorial for clients who do not qualify for pro bono and who cannot afford low bono…(similar to bankruptcy pro se representation product.) Create a Training/Workshop for homeowners without legal representation in mediation

27 “The Ever Changing Program” In July, many counties saw at least a 95 percent drop in filings. Based on volume & capacity, the servicing agencies may have to change what they are doing and may have to change protocol. HOPE Hotline Script revisions

28 Upcoming Events Tuesday, September 28: Follow-Up Mediation Training for Housing Counselors Location: Crownsville Wednesday, October 13: HOPE Quarterly Meeting Location: Crownsville To Register BLUE TRAINING SQUARE

29 Contact Information- DHCD Staff Reginald Stanfield Director, Community Programs 410-514-7209 Karen Ashby Assistant Director, Community Programs 410-514-7289 Claudia Wilson Randall Project Manager 410-514-7234 LaAndra Jones Project Manager 410-514-7232

30 Contact Information- DLLR Staff Anne Balcer Norton Assistant Commissioner of Financial Regulation Non-depository Institutions DLLR 500 N. Calvert Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202 410/230-6390 410/336-2534 (cell)

31 Contact Information- Legal Aid Cheryl L. Hystad Director of Advocacy Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. 500 E. Lexington Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-951-7813 410-685-6951 (fax) see

32 Contact Information- Pro Bono Resource Center Jennifer A. Larrabee, Esq. Manager Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland 520 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 410-837-9379; 800-396-1274

33 Contact Information- MVLS Bonnie Sullivan Executive Director Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service One North Charles Street, Suite 222 Baltimore, MD 21201 Phone: (443) 451- 4060 Fax: (443) 451-4081

34 Contact Information- Civil Justice Carrie McCully Project Coordinator Civil Justice Inc. 520 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD 21201 410-706-0174 Fax (410) 706-3196 NEW MEDIATION HOTLINE 410-706-5649 LOW BONO FORECLOSURE MEDIATION ONLY


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