Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007
Attorney General's Office launches Foreclosure Assistance Hotline
AGO seeks more attorney volunteers in Greater Boston
In an effort to combat the statewide crisis of home foreclosures, Attorney General Martha Coakley, in partnership with several bar associations, legal services organizations and advocacy groups, announced the establishment of a Pro Bono Foreclosure Assistance Hotline. Establishment of the foreclosure hotline and the pro bono panel are aspects of Attorney General Coakley’s multi-dimensional response to the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts.
The service is designed to provide advice for low-income Massachusetts residents facing foreclosure. Callers’ concerns will be addressed each day by the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC) to determine how to best assist the caller and provide general advise. If the homeowner meets the eligibility criteria, LARC will refer the homeowner to Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), who will assign each case to a pro bono lawyer. More than 100 public-spirited Massachusetts attorneys, who attended training sessions in late June, have generously agreed to handle at least one case in assistance.
The Attorney General continues to seek additional qualified attorneys who are willing to represent indigent homeowners, particularly in the areas outside Greater Boston. Interested lawyers may contact Yolanda Kruczkowski, of the Attorney General’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau, at (617) 727-2200 x.2973 or [e-mail Yolanda.Kruczkowski].
Low-income Massachusetts residents who are facing foreclosure on their homes may call (800) 342-5297 or (617) 603-1700 and leave a message in the “foreclosure assistance” voice mail box
The Attorney General has also collaborated with the Division of Banks, which continues to assist homeowners who require a brief delay in foreclosure in order to assess their options. The Division of Banks hotline, (800) 495-BANK, is a valuable resource. In circumstances in which a low-income homeowner wants to refinance an inappropriate, high-interest subprime loan, MassHousing may be helpful. See MassHousing’s Web site for further information.