Foreclosure Defense Angel Makes News

19 Dec Foreclosure Defense Angel Makes News

It is perhaps a sign of the times and the deepening foreclosure crisis when a legal aid lawyer is the subject of a major MSNBC.com profile. Now, if the world were a just place, every legal aid lawyer would be famous, but usually those who fight for justice do so in obscurity. Not so April Charney–at least not now.

It is easy to dismiss foreclosure defense as an exercise in delay tactics. Ms. Charney explains that the issue is more important, and more basic, than that.

Making an issue out of the actual ownership of the securitized title might strike some as a shameless stalling tactic aimed at abetting a debtor who, after all, owes the money. But Charney said that if such basic legalities aren’t adhered to, a homeowner could pay his or her way out of a foreclosure jam only to wind up in another when a new plaintiff emerges claiming to own the debt. She described cases in which homeowners have been sued for foreclosure by two different trusts, each claiming they owned their house, and cases where trusts have been sent documents on the same case by two different servicers.

Charney has a number of other defenses that focus on other sloppy and illegal practices by lenders and mortgage servicers. Some homeowners in foreclosure, such as those with FHA-insured loans like her client Vickie Lewis, were “entitled to very special default case management, and they didn’t get it,” she said. These people might not be in foreclosure if they had, she said.

But here’s my favorite quote from the article:

[T]he American Bankers Association, unfamiliar with her work, had no comment.

Uh-huh. Sure.

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Däna (pronounced "Donna") Wilkinson, has been a bankruptcy lawyer in South Carolina for 20 years. She is certified as a bankruptcy specialist by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
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