Saturday, May 22, 2010


This Monday, again I have volunteered to offer pro bono representation of homeowners on behalf of the Nassau County Bar Association for the 11:00am session. This is the present checklist given to us by the NCBA:

"Residential Foreclosure Conference Part Checklist

1. Introduction: introduce yourself to the homeowner. Make it clear that you are not his/her attorney, but you are a volunteer attorney authorized to advise them and assist them with the foreclosure conference proceeding.

2. Housing/Legal counseling: Encourage the homeowner to seek legal counseling and housing counseling through one of the pro bono organizations.

3. Housing information: Ask the homeowner about the property: its location, who lives there and how long he/she has lived in the home. The financial crisis has hit the various areas of each county differently, and some areas have much greater depreciation than others. Further, the length of time in the home is a relevant factor, particularly in addressing whether there may be fraud involved in the mortgage. Ask the homeowner whether he/she resides in the property and whether it is a 1-4 family home.

4. Financial information: Ask the homeowner if he/she has been in contact with the lender, whether he/she has prepared a financial packet for the lender, whether he/she is in a loan modification or HAMP modification. Ask the homeowner the reason for the default in general terms, because this may affect the type of legal/housing counseling the person should obtain.

5. Legal information: Ask the homeowner if he/she received a 90-day notice, the Summons/Complaint or any other court documents besides the notice of foreclosure conference. Ask the homeowner if he/she has filed an Answer or responded to any motion practice. Encourage the homeowner to obtain legal advice as to whether he/she should file an Answer or oppose motions filed by the lender. Note: Appearance in the foreclosure conference does not generally constitute a waiver of defenses (see each county’s local rules) but filing motions papers could.

6. Foreclosure conference part: Explain to the homeowner how the conference part will proceed. Explain who the referee/JHO is and their role in the process; the lender’s attorney, and the documents that you should expect to receive from the lender at the conference. Organize the homeowner’s paperwork (if any was brought to the conference) so that the homeowner can explain to the referee/JHO his/her arguments and requests for the conference. Write down notes for the homeowner that would assist them in representing him/herself in the conference.

7. Post-conference discussion: Explain to the homeowner what happened at the conference. Again advise and encourage them to seek legal/housing counseling and to follow through with any directives given by the referee/JHO. Organize the homeowner’s necessary information into a one-page checklist, such as Courtroom number, referee/JHO name, lender’s name and representative, phone numbers to contact, next conference date, if any, and give them a checklist of what the homeowner is expected to do before the next conference."

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