Summit County, Ohio: Judge Amy Corrigall Jones, Administrative Judge of the Summit County Common Pleas Court General Division, is pleased to announce the Court has been awarded a Civil Justice Program Grant by the Supreme Court of Ohio.
The Civil Justice Program seeks to provide direct civil legal assistance for Ohioans’ housing, healthcare, civil legal assistance, and economic security issues, among other high need areas.
Under the grant, the Court will partner with Community Legal Aid Services (CLAS), a nonprofit organization that specializes in poverty law, to provide staffing for Foreclosure Mediation Education for homeowners that are facing a foreclosure lawsuit and using mediation to resolve the lawsuit.
“Homeowners facing foreclosure don’t have the resources to maintain their home, let alone retain legal counsel. Self-help resources and community education for homeowners can be a significant benefit to them,” stated Judge Corrigall Jones.
In a study conducted by the Urban Institute of a loan counseling program, it was determined that homeowners were 1.7 times more likely to avoid foreclosure than those who did not participate in a similar educational program.
CLAS Executive Director Steven McGarrity stated, “The Foreclosure Mediation Education Program will provide homeowners with key legal information pertaining to their foreclosure case and promote economic stability of low-income, minority populations and the overall community.”
The free classes will be facilitated by CLAS staff on a bi-weekly basis, providing assistance that includes an overview of the foreclosure and loan modification process as well as the documents and information homeowners must gather to be well-prepared for mediation hearings. The courses will be open to the public and mandatory for homeowners whose cases are referred to mediation.
The Court anticipates the program will provide a key service to homeowners facing foreclosure and cost savings to the Court through efficiency in case flow resolution.
“Not only will this assist homeowner’s facing foreclosure, but from an administrative standpoint, we expect increased efficiency in these mediation proceedings and a reduction in the number of status conferences resulting in cost savings to the court,” concluded Corrigall Jones.