The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today announced the formation of the Lawyers’ Foreclosure Intervention Network (LFIN), a pro bono pilot program cosponsored by the City Bar Justice Center, the legal services arm of the New York City Bar. Led by director Lynn Armentrout, LFIN has as its mission marshaling the resources of New York City’s legal community to assist New Yorkers facing the prospect of foreclosure.
Currently, the number of legal aid attorneys specialized in this area of law is small, particularly compared with the growing need for legal advice from distressed homeowners. This program will provide training to lawyers, as well as a framework for program administration and accountability, in order to prevent unnecessary foreclosures in New York City. Lawyers participating in the program will assist homeowners in understanding and assessing their options. Some attorneys will negotiate with homeowners’ creditors; others will represent homeowners before bankruptcy or other courts.
To maximize the number of attorneys able to represent distressed borrowers, the New York Fed is encouraging financial institutions to waive, to the extent possible, conflicts of interest that might arise in the representation of a distressed homeowner.
At this time, the LFIN pilot program is limited to New York City, but the program’s progress will be monitored to determine if similar efforts would be useful in other areas of the country. The New York Fed’s regional outreach mission is to promote sustained economic vitality by leveraging the Bank’s strengths to benefit the people in the Second District. This effort is part of the Federal Reserve’s Homeownership and Mortgage Initiative, a comprehensive strategy across the Federal Reserve System to provide information and outreach to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and to stabilize communities.
To learn more about the LFIN program or to volunteer, please see the City Bar Justice Center’s website.
To track nonprime mortgage conditions in New York State and around the country, please see the dynamic maps on the New York Fed’s website.
Contact: Andrew Williams