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Efforts to aid those facing foreclosure continue

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More than 1,000 Indiana attorneys, judges, and mediators have attended CLE trainings since June about mortgage foreclosures. Chief Justice Randall Shepard disclosed the numbers today in Evansville where he also announced a new statewide initiative to help implement the state law that went into effect July 1 that provides homeowners the option of settlement conferences to save their homes.

About 35 of the CLEs, "Back Home in Indiana - Guiding Homeowners Through Foreclosure," have taken place for attorneys looking to represent homeowners, and for mediators willing to conduct settlement conferences. The final two CLEs are scheduled for this week - one today in Evansville and another Friday in Bloomington. While nothing has been set, there has been some talk to offer more CLEs about foreclosures in the future.

The CLEs were part of the court's response to the approximately 50 percent increase in the number of foreclosure cases in Indiana during the past five years. In 2008, there were 45,394 foreclosures filed in the state. In 2003 and 2004, there were approximately 30,000 foreclosures filed.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network, the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, the Indiana Commission on Continuing Legal Education, the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, bar associations, law firms across the state, and the Indiana Supreme Court supported the training sessions.

Those who have handled settlement conferences have told Indiana Lawyer that having an attorney in the room can vastly improve a homeowner's chance of success.

While the court surpassed its goal to train at least 700 mediators, judges, and attorneys, an official statewide number has not been released regarding how many of those are eligible or have offered to take a pro bono case or mediate a settlement conference. That issue, along with other issues regarding the mortgage foreclosure CLEs, will be up for discussion at the annual conference of pro bono district plan administrators, which coincides with the Indiana State Bar Association's annual meeting in November.

Beyond training attorneys, judges, and mediators, the chief justice said the courts have a new plan to be implemented.

The proposed statewide system will help local courts handle the thousands of expected settlement conferences through local coordinators. The coordinators will also track the data for success rates, something each court currently does on its own without a centralized system. The Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will finalize plans on this effort in the coming months.

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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