Facing Foreclosure Alone

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Melanca Clark, attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, discusses the lack of legal representation for New Yorkers dealing with foreclosure proceedings.


Melanca Clark

Comments [10]

Sue Susman from Manhattan

California has a new law that just made it the first in the nation to provide free legal counsel in civil matters that are critical to people's lives. (See

Let's hope other states follow suit.

Oct. 13 2009 04:05 PM
Barbara Ann Jackson

Parallels to the report entitled, “Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation” by the Brennan Center for Justice


The Brennan Center for Justice October 2009 report entitled, “Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation” points out things some people never consider: When a person lacks knowledge, particularly of Consumer Law, he or she is not likely to recognize an actionable claim concerning a mortgage debt or any other type of debt which requires a judicial ruling. Owing
a debt does not justify denial of Due Process, nor erroneous or fraudulent pleadings filed in courtrooms, nor any other Unconstitutional violation of people. Lack of financial means to pay for a lawyer obstructs access to justice; and too often judges are biased against the financially unfortunate, and tend to rule favorably for the rich and powerful. Or, a person can run out of money to pay his / her lawyer before the controversy becomes resolved. Moreover, incredibly, some people actually think that because a person does not have a lawyer, that person's claims have no merit. And sadly, some people fail to regard the reality that Statute of Limitation is the reason why a person who has yet to obtain a lawyer is forced to commence his / her litigation in 'proper person'.

In a few States such as where I reside. . .SEE ENTIRE ARTICLE @

Oct. 11 2009 10:02 AM
Leah Margulies from City Bar Justice Center, 42 West 44th St., NYC

The online url to get free legal information and referrals for help with foreclosure, as well as many other civil law issues is This corrects the wrong url given at the bottom of the posting about today's program.

LawHelp/NY is a free statewide online legal information and referral service sponsored by the NYC and NYS Bar Associations, Legal Aid Society, Legal Services-NYC, Pro Bono Net, Volunteers for Legal Service and 6 other legal aid programs.

Oct. 07 2009 05:38 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

I was foreclosed on in Atlanta, GA in November 2005 when I was out of the country. I didn’t have a lawyer to help me and I couldn’t afford one. I used up all my savings trying to save my beautiful condo in Buckhead. The mortgage fraud/foreclosure experience I lived through (I believe I was given a subprime mortgage though I had a credit score of 754) is still haunting me. The day of the foreclosure, I called the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office long distance and did everything I could to stop from losing my home. Someone had told me that maybe my civil rights were being violated because it was happening when I was far away. I didn’t know if this was or was not true. I just loved my condo and didn’t want it to be taken away from me. That afternoon, I used up I don’t know how many phone cards and talked to many people; some, like a woman named Ms. De Louise, were very nice and tried to help me. This has been a great personal tragedy. It has left a mark on me and my life that so far has been impossible to erase. Eugenia Renskoff

Oct. 07 2009 02:09 PM
Lee NYC from NYC

I'm a homeowner who recently received a solicitation from an alleged "legal group" that stated they could help me if I faced foreclosure. Many of their claims are, imho, suspect. Where can I report this group? They appear to be one of the many con artists preying on the vulnerable. Thanks!

Oct. 07 2009 10:57 AM
Elliott from White Plains, NY

Getting help for co op apartments is difficult. I am not in foreclosure. In fact, I am a month ahead in my payments. I have excellent credit and a low mortgage loan amount compared to my apartment's value. But I want to reduce my mortgage's interest rate due to a decrease in my income and to reflect current interest rates compared to when I originated the loan. I need to save money whereever I can. My current lender won't do it nor will other banks agree to refinance my apartment due to my income. I seem not to qualify for the Obama program because I have a co op and not a private home.

I am disappointed an can't afford an attorney to help me. A counseling agency told me to sell my apartment! But that makes no sense as landlords don't rent easily to low income self-employed people and the rent would likely be higher than my mortgage and maintenance. No co op board would accept me in my current financial condtion. So selling would put me on someone's sofa. An affordable attorney could, perhaps intervene with my current lender but I cannot pay one. So I just keep squeaking by, month by month, while other people happily refinance. I've done everything right. This is not fair, is it?

Very frustrating.

Oct. 07 2009 10:53 AM
Lee NYC from NYC

I'm a homeowner who recently received a solicitation from an alleged "legal group" that stated they could help me if I faced foreclosure. Many of their claims are, imho, suspect. Where can I report this group? They appear to be one of the many con artists preying on the vulnerable. Thanks!

Oct. 07 2009 10:49 AM
john from office

Brian, how do you allow a caller to claim the Queens Courts are corrupt and not say anything. You just speard more and more misinformation against lawyers and the Courts.

Oct. 07 2009 10:44 AM
AK from

What about mentioning the legal services that provide free advice and counsel for people in this situation? You had two of them on your show in September! (For example: South Brooklyn Legal Services)

Oct. 07 2009 10:43 AM
Lorraine Gagliardotto Garry from Jersey City

Please, you might want to include in your conversation NJ.

After all we are only 15 minutes the other side of the river and no difference from Brooklyn or Queens.

We have the same foreclosure problems

Oct. 07 2009 10:37 AM

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