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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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