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Local Attorney Helps Initiate Predatory Loan/Foreclosure Training Program for Area Attorneys

June 24, 2008

Springfield, MA – As lawyers seeing our community devastated by foreclosure, and not having adequate government support, our local Hampden County Bar Association, (like many others throughout the county), in conjunction with other individuals and agencies, have started a pro bono grass roots training program to educate lawyers on how to deal with the complex predatory loan / foreclosure issues. Once trained, the lawyers in turn agreed to provide legal assistance to the public. This demonstrates how the legal community bands together in times of difficult circumstances and tries to help fix a national problem one community at a time.

Justin H. Dion, an associate of Bacon Wilson, P.C., Attorneys at Law, as chair of the Hampden County Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee, has assisted this initiative along with Bacon Wilson’s, Eugene B. Berman, Chair of the Hampden County Bar Association Foreclosure Task Force. The training programs educate bankruptcy lawyers about assisting people with predatory loan issues, as often times these issues are beyond most bankruptcy lawyers’ usual area of expertise.

It has been widely reported nationally that the sub-prime meltdown has resulted in historic foreclosure levels. Although the federal and state governments are trying to address some of the issues, their attempts have largely been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, many homeowners who were victims of predatory loans did not realize they were in trouble until they received a foreclosure notice. Typically, only after receiving a foreclosure notice does the homeowner seek the assistance of a lawyer.

Although a bankruptcy lawyer can stop a foreclosure, many bankruptcy lawyers who are on the front line are not familiar with all of the intricacies of predatory loans, as they often require knowledge about extensive state and federal real estate law; nor do most bankruptcy lawyers know how to deal with one, as it may involve complex litigation. As such, although bankruptcy lawyers can file bankruptcy and temporarily stop a foreclosure, unless knowledgeable about predatory loans, the bankruptcy is essentially a short term band aid that does not fix the underlying problematic mortgage or protect all of the homeowner’s rights.

Since being trained, several lawyers are now available and have agreed to offer homeowners assistance on a free or reduced fee basis.

You may contact Attorney Dion directly at 781-0560 or [email protected]

Bacon Wilson, P.C. has a total of 36 lawyers plus 65 paralegals, secretaries and other support staff. The firm’s has four offices located in Springfield, Westfield, Northampton and Amherst. Founded in 1895, Bacon Wilson provides legal services in almost every area of the law to clients throughout Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.

by: Eugene B. Berman and Justin H. Dion