Despite significant state investment in providing legal assistance to New York homeowners facing foreclosure, each year approximately half – tens of thousands of New Yorkers – still face the prospect of losing their homes through foreclosure without the benefit of a lawyer. Now, an exciting and innovative new resource is available that will help those homeowners by providing a free, web-based, step-by-step guide through the foreclosure process, providing critical information that can help save their homes. The web-based application will also help homeowners find free housing counseling and legal assistance nearby.
This step-by-step Foreclosure Guide, offered over the web free of charge, can help homeowners understand the foreclosure process and obtain critical information to help defend their homes. While it is no substitute for an attorney or housing counselor, for those people who do not have access to either, this can give a homeowner some critical information and help walk them through the process so they can be as prepared as possible. Even for those with an attorney or other help, the Guide can help someone understand the foreclosure process so they can work more closely and effectively with their advocate as they defend their home together. Attorneys and housing counselors can also refer their clients to this service, or they can refer those they cannot help to the foreclosure guide for assistance.
This initiative is a joint project of Empire Justice Center, the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany, and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, and is available to all New York homeowners via LawHelpNY and the Empire Justice Center’s website. Students from the University at Albany worked closely with staff from the Empire Justice Center, Albany Law students and faculty, local homeowners, and lawyers who engage in foreclosure defense to create the foreclosure guide.
To read more about this application and the prospect of technology improving access to justice, click here. Access requires free registration.
Associate Professor of Law; Director of the Government Law Center