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January 01, 2012

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2012 Articles

LA Times: L.A. sues US Bank over blighted, abandoned homes
The city attorney accuses the bank of being a slumlord and demands that it clean up properties it foreclosed on.

LA Times: California lawmakers pass historic foreclosure protections
California lawmakers have passed legislation that would provide homeowners with some of the nation's strongest protections from foreclosure and such aggressive bank practices as seizing a home while the owner is negotiating to lower mortgage payments.

Daily News: Lawyers prey on foreclosure-facing homeowners in San Fernando Valley and beyond
More than 1,000 homeowners are potential victims of attorneys across the state who are targeting homeowners facing foreclosure as part of the fallout of the mortgage crisis that began in 2007

Daily Journal: Central District has lion's share of nation's pro se bankruptcy debtors
Few experience much -- or any -- success in bankruptcy court when going at it alone.
LA Times: Bank of America turns foreclosure-facing homeowners into renters
The bank is launching a pilot program that would allow customers with underwater mortgages to avoid foreclosure by becoming renters.
LA Times: Latest HARP program for underwater mortgages ramping up
"HARP 2.0," the second version of the federal mortgage refinancing program, comes with streamlined processing, but some key issues could hinder borrower participation.
LA Times: L.A. hospital accused of patient-dumping
Public Counsel filed a lawsuit Friday against a hospital on behalf of Jesse Bravo, alleging elder abuse, false imprisonment and hospital negligence.

Los Angeles Lawyer: The ABCs of California Foreclosure Law
The real estate meltdown that began in late 2007 has resulted in an unprecedented number of loans in default and a substantial upsurge in foreclosures across the country. California continues to be one of the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

LA Times: Foreclosures expected to rise, pushing home prices lower
Banks are getting more aggressive with the 3.5 million U.S. homes with seriously delinquent mortgages, setting the stage for a big wave of foreclosure action this year.

NY Times: Unemployed mortgage holders get extension on payments
Although home foreclosure rates appear to be stabilizing and unemployment is slowly coming down, there are still millions of jobless borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes because they cannot afford their monthly payments.

Huffington Post: Standing up for consumers
Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says he intends the CFPB to exercise its full authorities -- with respect to both banks and nonbanks -- to help those markets operate fairly, transparently, and competitively. 

ABA Journal: Force for Good: Public Counsel Law Center's new app connects lawyers, clients
Public Counsel Law Center's smartphone app, Force for Good, lets users refer cases, and allows volunteer lawyers to take a case and provide updates.

2011 Articles

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 'Yo-yoing' practice by car dealers irks customers
'Yo-yoing' is a deceptive practice by used car dealers aimed at getting customers to buy a car other than the one the buyer is interested in, or paying a higher interest rate to get the car s/he wants.

L.A. Times: A vicious cycle in the used-car business
Sign, drive, default, repossess and resell - that's the game at Buy Here Pay Here dealerships.

Daily Journal: Working to avert bankruptcy crisis
Self-help clinics are lifeline for a court deluged with debtors who are unrepresented.

Daily Journal: Litigators take up the fight for state court funds
Public Counsel is part of a major new effort to protect California courts from cuts that hurt the public.

2010 Articles

LA Times: Defendant in numerous Public Counsel lawsuits awaits trial on real estate felony charges
Timothy Barnett is charged with 23 felonies for allegedly tricking five people into unknowingly granting him title to their homes. Public Counsel staff attorney Patrick Dunlevy, who has filed lawsuits on behalf of several people who said they had lost their homes to Barnett, is quoted.

2009 Articles

Daily Journal: Promise of kiosk deal became pain for churches
More than 20 Southern California churches said they were scammed out of thousands of dollars for broken computer systems by an interfaith group accused of defrauding hundreds of churches in at least eight states, according to court documents and lawyers, including Public Counsel, representing the churches.

LA Times: L.A. Council votes to tighten rules on mortgage consultants
A new city ordinance will bar the consultants from demanding upfront fees from any homeowner -- not just those in default, who are protected under state law. Public Counsel attorney Leora Freedman is quoted.