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New foreclosure-prevention initiative announced

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To encourage more eligible Hoosiers to participate in settlement conferences when facing mortgage foreclosures, a new program involving the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network was announced today in Fort Wayne.

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced the partnership that implements new procedures with the hope there will be more settlement conferences and more success stories, which could include the homeowner keeping the house, a short sale, or a deed transfer.

For instance, in Fort Wayne, Allen Superior Judge Nancy E. Boyer started a pilot program in February. Instead of only receiving a number of documents from the court that include information about how to participate in a settlement conference, a facilitator will call the homeowners to explain what they need to know and answer any questions they might have at that time.

A coordinator has been helping courts around the state to set up programs that vary by county, based on specific needs. Courts in other counties, including St. Joseph and Marion, have or soon will start similar programs in April, followed by Monroe County this summer. The program will add other counties in the next few months.

Last summer, the Supreme Court and Indiana Pro Bono Commission worked with plan administrators to train about 1,000 attorneys, mediators, and judges on how mortgage foreclosure settlement conferences work, but there has been a low participation rate among homeowners.

An in-depth article about the new program will be in the April 28-May 11, 2010, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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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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