According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (a wonderful resource), Peter Latman issued the following report:
How bad is the housing crisis in Ohio? So bad that the state’s chief justice is begging lawyers for help, and the state treasurer urges, “To anyone who wants to make a difference in the world, this is a defining issue of our time.”
Foreclosures have spiked in the Buckeye State, clogging the court system. And yesterday, Chief Justice Thomas Moyer urged lawyers to offer pro bono services to distressed homeowners, according to this NLJ story. “This is more than a legal issue; this is a social issue,” Moyer said, according to a news release. “People’s lives are being seriously affected and the legal community must respond with action.”
A group of lawyers met yesterday to discuss the creation of programs to help train lawyers with limited or no foreclosure-law experience. The Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio has estimated its attorneys have already helped save as many as 400 homes this year. And the Supreme Court has begun working with local courts to offer mediation services between lenders and homeowners to avoid foreclosures.
Ohio has among the highest foreclosure rates in the country. In 2007, foreclosure filings are up nearly 68% from last year, according to RealtyTrac.
Lawyers, help us out here. We know the great pro bono work lawyers do in areas such as the death penalty, natural disasters and immigration. But does the Chief Justice’s call to action resonate with you? Is the mortgage crisis, as Ohio’s state treasurer says, the defining issue of our time?
The Wall Street Journal asks if this is the defining issue of our time? Probably not, but it is a crisis. With mortgage fraud abounding and having been reported in this blog – it is evident that when money is too loose without appropriate controls – consequences will follow.
Every choice has a consequence. While, as a country, we enjoyed easy credit and appreciation in equity for homes, that equity can reverse and homes can be lost. It’s time for reasonable controls to make sure that unsuspecting individuals not fall prey to preditory lending practices.
As a professional speaker, I speak to groups about choices and consequences along with ethics and fraud. www.chuckgallagher.com
If you feel you’ve been the victim of mortgage fraud…feel free to comment.