Dreaming of home ownership

April 21, 2010
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This post was written by IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger

Minutes after I turned in Tuesday's IL Daily story about a new initiative by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network, I got an e-mail from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership about 'Reclaiming the American Dream,' a documentary set to air on the Indianapolis PBS affiliate WFYI at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The documentary will include national and local experts' opinions on mortgage foreclosures, how the ideal of owning a home has changed over the years, and will also follow people in Indianapolis and Detroit as they strive to achieve the American dream of homeownership.

Lilly Endowment Inc. funded the project, which is a partnership between WFYI and INHP. The documentary was produced by filmmaker Kim Hood Jacobs.

Not having seen the documentary, I plan to tune in Thursday night. I'm hoping it'll include some glint of happy news, as I've been following mortgage foreclosures for Indiana Lawyer for a while now ' including how other news sources have been covering it ' and most of the news so far has been grim.

Even when I hear news reports explaining foreclosure numbers are decreasing slightly, or at least compared to the same time a year ago, I immediately start to wonder whether those numbers really mean anything as I continue to hear of friends of friends and relatives who have lost their homes in recent months. In working on a story for the April 28 edition, I'm also learning that Indiana's numbers are staying strong or slightly increasing ' and that Indiana is 11th in the country for foreclosures.

I also look forward to the documentary for personal reasons; last summer, I was able to buy my first house with the help of INHP's staff and free community programs. Like others who work with them, the organization will look over financial statements and credit reports, and will give potential homeowners different loan options if INHP thinks a potential buyer is qualified. And if they're not a good candidate for a loan, INHP offers classes and other resources to help people learn what they can do to become more financially stable and raise their credit scores.

So will you watch? Do you think we'll eventually see a decrease in foreclosures in Indiana any time soon?

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  • It\'s a complicated issue and I would guess we all know someone in that mess for the right and wrong reasons. Did someone buy a home that was out of their league and unrealistic about their ability to pay. I\'m not talking about the uninformed; I\'m thinking about those living a fake lifestyle on borrowed money. I will try to tape the documentary and see if sheds any light on the matter.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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