With a $415,000 grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—and the help of a groundbreaking new law that offers homeowners strong pre-foreclosure protections—the HLS WilmerHale Legal Services Center (LSC) has launched a new program to help fight foreclosures in Mattapan, one of Boston’s most challenged neighborhoods.
As the groundbreaking anti-foreclosure work by HLS students continues to land significant victories for homeowners in Massachusetts, a recent conference to spread the Harvard model was attended by more than 150 lawyers, law students and community organizers from around the country who want to halt foreclosures in their own communities. The second annual HLS “Community Responses to the Foreclosure Crisis” conference, organized by the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB), ran for three days and included panel discussions and small, interactive workshops where participants received practical advice for fighting foreclosures.
Just two months after landing a major victory in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of homeowners fighting eviction, the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) was back before the high court last week seeking more protections for people with homes in foreclosure. The court’s decision, expected to come down in several months, could lead to greater accountability for lenders trying to foreclose.
On January 7, in a ruling that will likely affect the entire banking industry, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that Wells Fargo and US Bancorp had wrongly foreclosed on two homes because the banks could not prove that they owned the mortgages at the time of the foreclosure sales in July 2007. Max Weinstein, a Clinical Instructor at the Wilmer Hale Legal Services Center, represented one of the mortgagers, Antonio Ibanez.