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Foreclosure programs aimed at judges, lawyers

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The Indiana Supreme Court announced today it's partnering with Indiana Legal Services Inc. and the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio to sponsor training for attorneys, judges, and mediators about how to help families facing foreclosure.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard recently announced the plan to train more people in the legal community than any other state about how to deal with the foreclosure crisis, including asking attorneys to take these cases pro bono.

The training begins March 6 with a special education program dedicated to mortgage foreclosure issues. This is the first of many specially designed to educate judges and lawyers about new loan-modification programs and mediation options. Indiana trial courts have seen nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of foreclosure cases filed in the past five years, and the Supreme Court wants to assist courts as they deal with the influx of foreclosure cases.

The training, "How do we get out of this mess?" is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, 30 S. Meridian St., 8th Floor, Indianapolis. At this training and others, the Supreme Court will offer scholarships to private attorneys who complete the training and agree to handle one mortgage foreclosure case on a pro bono basis.

Cost to attend is $50 for private attorneys and $15 for non-profit attorneys; 6.5 hours of CLE are pending. Lunch is provided, and attendees are encouraged, but not required, to bring a laptop for the case study.

Online and downloadable registration is available on Indiana Legal Services' Web site. Questions or concerns can be directed to Marcy Wenzler at (812) 339-7668. Information about future programs will be available on the court's Web site.

Look for a story in the March 4-17, 2009, issue of Indiana Lawyer about what Marion County courts are doing to address foreclosures.

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