UM Hosts Great Foreclosure Defense Training

We had a real happening of a foreclosure defense seminar yesterday. Here's how the law school wrote it up, but it was even better than it sounds:

Fighting the Foreclosure Crisis: Foreclosure Defense Specialist April Charney, JD '80, Shares Expert Advice in Workshop

Over 150 lawyers attended a foreclosure workshop, hosted by the University of Miami School of Law on October 2nd, which featured April Charney, JD '80, a consumer lawyer and nationally recognized foreclosure defense expert. Charney addressed such topics as federal and state law that govern mortgage origination, common law/state law causes of action and affirmative defenses, drafting discovery and motion practice, and ethical considerations in foreclosure practice.

Charney’s daylong “Defending Foreclosures” classes have gained widespread popularity with lawyers throughout the country. She has taught in Ohio, California, Minnesota, South Carolina, Missouri and throughout Florida. Charney requires that all attendees perform 20 hours of pro bono legal work in their communities.

“The workshop has been tremendously informative and has made me realize how complicated this area is,” said Yolanda Paschal, JD ’09, one of the Foreclosure Defense Fellows who will be working with the Legal Services of Greater Miami starting on Monday, October 5th. “I anticipate that this fellowship will be challenging and I look forward to that.”

The Foreclosure Defense Fellowship, recently created by the School of Law, will enable newly minted lawyers to give free help to local residents caught in the foreclosure crisis. The School of Law is one of the first schools in the nation to create a program of this kind. Recent UM graduates will acquire real-world experience and address a serious need in the community at the same time.

Excited to be back at her alma mater, Charney took a moment from the workshop to commend the School of Law for establishing the new Foreclosure Defense Fellowship Program and Professor A. Michael Froomkin for his leadership with the project. “The foreclosure crisis in Florida is troubling,” said Charney, “but at least this program will do good work to help homeowners keep their homes.”

“April Charney delivered a tour de force performance on foreclosure defense, backed up by a CD with over 1,000 pages of sample complaints, depositions, and litigation checklists,” said Froomkin. “I wish all my students could attend lectures like this to learn about the law on the ground as it is playing out in the context of a financial crisis.”

It was an event. Great as it was, April Charney wasn't entirely happy: She groused that some of the attendees were from what she calls “the dark side” — foreclosure specialists coming to find out what defense counsel will be doing to them.

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