Free Bank Foreclosure List Prevention Help from State Lawyers

by Peter Vernon on Foreclosure Help

Distressed homeowners in Washington who are facing the possibility of losing their homes to foreclosures may now have more access to lawyers who can help them protect their properties from bank foreclosure list for free.

The Washington State Bar Association’s Northwest Justice Project offers free legal service to distressed homeowners to help them avoid foreclosures and fraudulent bank foreclosure list rescue services.

Mark Johnson, president of the Washington State Bar Association, said that home foreclosures in the state are widespread, adding that repossession almost increased twice from 3,400 units in 2007 to last year’s 6,800 and the numbers continue to rise this year.

As part of the project, the bar association will spend about $150,000 on a legal team that will focus on foreclosure-related cases and $10,000 for electronic training materials. It will also donate staff time for the program.

So far, it recruited around 270 volunteer attorneys which are halfway from its target of 500 volunteer lawyers.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, a free bank foreclosure list prevention workshop will be held at the Cleveland High School on July 24.

Seattle Urban League chief executive officer and president James Kelly said that the help provided by the bar association is much welcome since more and more homeowners in the area are losing their properties to foreclosures daily. He said that every volunteer lawyer in the project can help preserve not only homes but also neighborhoods.

The Seattle Urban League provides U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counseling services. Washington State Housing Finance Commission Chairwoman Karen Miller said that HUD-certified housing counselors were able to help about 2,681 distressed homeowners since 2008, with only 37 properties failing to avoid foreclosure.

Miller pointed out that the data only prove that housing counseling services are effective in helping homeowners remain in their properties.

On the other hand, Johnson pointed out that the need for foreclosure prevention assistance surpasses the services that can be offered. He added that majority of foreclosure prevention programs helped only homeowners who earn more than 200 percent of the nationwide poverty guidelines. Under the bar association’s program, only distressed homeowners who are earning not less than 200 and not more than 400 percent of the state’s poverty guidelines can avail of the free bank foreclosure list prevention program.