A Slack Lifeline for Drowning Homeowners

How civil legal aid lawyers are fighting for homeowners against the banks.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Gretchen Morgenson
New York Times (NYT)
July 31, 2015

Tags: Benefits of Legal Aid, Consumer Protection, Housing: Foreclosure, Pro Se/Self-Help

Organizations mentioned/involved: Vermont Legal Aid (VLA), Legal Services NYC (LSNYC)


Ms. Romero doesn’t buy the notion that improper rejections are rare. And neither do legal aid lawyers representing troubled borrowers. On the front lines in the foreclosure process, the lawyers say they’ve seen all manner of bad behavior from the banks on loan modifications.

“Virtually never does one get a loan-mod application properly evaluated the first time,” said Jacob Inwald, director of foreclosure prevention at Legal Services NYC, which provides legal representation to troubled borrowers. “We deal with these issues every single day. It requires constant pushback and challenging wrongful denials.”

He said he was swamped with such cases. It took him about two minutes to locate and send me court documents showing the abusive tactics seven borrowers in New York recently faced trying to get a loan modification under the Treasury program. He says these cases are just a small sample demonstrating that the banks are not complying with the rules.