Law School Hosts Foreclosure Assistance Weekend

February 27, 2012

Professor Nathalie Martin

Homeowners worried about foreclosure will receive help from New Mexico’s housing counselors, major banks, and financial planning experts in a free, four‐day foreclosure assistance event from March 15-18 at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

The event has been designed to help distressed homeowners statewide. Borrowers currently in some stage of the foreclosure process who anticipate they may fall behind on their mortgages, or are upside down and need to sell their homes, will receive hands‐on assistance from housing professionals and lenders. Participating banks will include CitiMortgage, Chase and Wells Fargo.

Assistant Attorney General Karen Meyers, who heads up the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, says New Mexico has more than its fair share of homeowners who need help. “Foreclosure is among the most pressing issues we see right now,” she says. “It’s a national problem, but it’s also very much a New Mexico problem. In New Mexico, more than 17,000 households are seriously delinquent on their mortgage and approximately another 9,000 homeowners are in foreclosure. We need to make sure these folks have access to real options – like loan modifications or other relief – to help them stay in their homes."

“Reports indicate that as many as 85 percent of New Mexico homeowners lose their homes by default because they never respond to the foreclosure complaint,” says UNM Law professor Nathalie Martin. “Foreclosure is a confusing and emotional situation under the best of circumstances, and too many people either are just giving up or are trying to navigate the process without any help. As a result, families are losing their homes when they might be able to keep them.”

The four‐day event kicks off on Thursday, March 15 with a full day of foreclosure classes for lawyers, housing professionals and the general public. On Friday through Sunday, the School of Law will be turned over for strategy sessions with housing counselors, consumer education seminars and meetings with participating banks.

Homeowners are encouraged to plan on spending half a day at the event and to bring all of the documents required by banks in order to process a loan modification request. Further information can be found at the event website. The entire weekend is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

The homeowners weekend is being presented by the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, the United South Broadway Corporation/Fair Lending Center and the UNM School of Law, in cooperation with the New Mexico congressional delegation and a number of major banks.