Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011
To the Editor:
Re “For the Foreclosed, Themselves” (Business Day):
A Brennan Center report found that homeowners around the country face foreclosure overwhelmingly without counsel. In Stark County, Ohio, for example, data suggest that 86 percent of foreclosure defendants did so in 2008.
These families risk losing their homes only because they may not know their legal rights, how to defend themselves or how to negotiate with lenders. Justice is in doubt when our courts order foreclosures that may be based on inaccurate documents, as the robo-signing scandal revealed.
Congress should increase financing for the Legal Services Corporation, through which nonprofits provide lawyers for low-income families nationwide. A newly authorized Department of Housing and Urban Development assistance program also needs financing to get off the ground. With families facing displacement, foreclosures killing property values and the court dockets overwhelmed, the money would be well spent.
Laura Abel, Rebekah Diller, THE NEW YORK TIMES