Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

June 11, 2013

There is hope

Program can help save families from foreclosures

Losing a home due to foreclosure can be a devastating experience. But many local families have seen the effects lessened through a free service coordinated by the Allegany County Law Foundation and Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission.

The Foreclosure Solutions Workshop will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on  June 27 at HRDC, 125 Virginia Ave.

In 2011, the program enlisted volunteer attorneys who served 22 homeowner families who attended three of the workshops. Allegany Law staff has assisted 88 families with legal services, including follow-up advice after workshop contact, coordination of services with housing counselors and negotiation with lenders, servicers and creditors.

Volunteer attorneys have represented 32 families in court cases with 11 bankruptcy cases, five foreclosure mediations and 16 negotiations including loan modifications and independent foreclosure reviews.

 The workshop will give participants directions on the next steps to take and where to go for help. Allegany Law may be able to provide additional resources to homeowners who need assistance with foreclosure mediation and bankruptcy consultation, Marcia Conrad, executive director of Allegany Law, said.

Workshop participants should bring all materials related to their current and former mortgages, including the loan application, settlement paperwork and lender statements; and any foreclosure notices or threats of foreclosure received; and a monthly household budget, Conrad said. The Foreclosure Solutions Workshop is free and open to the public. The site is handicapped accessible.

Sen. George Edwards, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center are also providing resources and sponsoring the workshop. This is the collaboration’s seventh workshop since July 2010 in Allegany County. The model has been successfully used throughout Maryland at churches, community centers and other forums to assist thousands of homeowners.

To register for the workshop, call Allegany Law at 301-722-3390.

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