With a grant of $800,000 from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, North Carolina Central University School of Law will transform its Foreclosure Prevention Project into a new Foreclosure Clinic.
Since the beginning of the housing crisis in 2008, NCCU’s Foreclosure Prevention Project has provided training to volunteers — law students and private attorneys — in the identification of predatory lending practices. These volunteers counseled potential homebuyers and assisted those trapped in predatory contracts with the process of mortgage adjustment to prevent foreclosure.
Demand quickly outpaced the capacity of a volunteer force, particularly with the expansion of the Law School’s outreach efforts through TALIAS — NCCU’s telepresence classroom linked to 27 high-definition videoconferencing locations across the state.
“We had to suspend our foreclosure project,” said Atty. Pamela Glean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Programs. “Our volunteer attorney was simply overwhelmed ”
Glean appealed to the North Carolina Department of Justice (DOJ) for funding to support a fulltime director and financial counselor, as well as contract attorneys to represent homeowners in trials and appeals in their local jurisdictions.
The funds flowing from the DOJ through the Housing Finance Agency represent a portion of the multistate settlement with five major banks that engaged in fraudulent foreclosures and unethical practices in their mortgage lending. Legal Aid of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law also received funding. NCCU School of Law intends to collaborate with these partners to ensure that all necessary services are provided efficiently and effectively to our residents.
NCCU Law School Dean Phyliss Craig- Taylor said, “NCCU Law recently ranked fourth in the nation in the provision of clinical opportunities to our students. We’re proud of our unfaltering commitment to work on pressing social justice issues that face our communities, including the loss of property.”