Media note: Jean Braucher is available for interviews and may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new grant-funded program at the University of Arizona will help Southern Arizona homeowners in danger of losing their homes work to secure mortgage modifications from lenders.
Beginning in August, the James E. Rogers College of Law Mortgage Clinic will place up to 10 students each semester at Southern Arizona Legal Aid.
There, experienced attorneys will supervise UA law students who will assist homeowners in negotiations with lenders for affordable terms and in bankruptcy proceedings when necessary to save homes.
"Our students will be able to learn about all aspects of home mortgage transactions and get experience working with clients," said Jean Braucher, the Roger C. Henderson Professor of Law who will oversee the clinic.
The program is being supported for three years under a grant from the Office of the Arizona Attorney General funded through a state settlement with mortgage lenders.
Braucher, a specialists in contracts, bankruptcy and commercial Law, also will teach a required companion course, "The Mortgage Crisis."
Braucher said the class serves to examine the origins of the mortgage crisis and what solutions may be utilized to restore the housing market and prevent future bubble-and-burst cycles. It will cover a range of topics, including securitization on Wall Street, Arizona law of deeds of trust and mortgage notes.
"And the clinic will help a pressing and unmet community need while allowing law students to gain invaluable experience in interviewing, counseling and negotiations," Braucher added.
The course also will bring in leaders in the Arizona bench and bar to discuss the legal and policy issues with students, and many sessions will be available for Continuing Legal Education credit to practicing lawyers.
And students involved in the project also will build a bank of useful resources for the clinic and for lawyers who represent at-risk homeowners. Additionally, students will participate in community education and outreach.
Braucher said: "The objective is to provide a forum in the university for all stakeholders-representative of the mortgage industry, state and federal officials and homeowners' advocates-to understand and then find solutions to a serious problem in our state and nation."