September 5, 2008
Common Law Inc., a non-profit consortium of three CUNY Law alums from the class of 2007, created a clinic to help homeowners in foreclosure that was the feature of a WNYC radio interview that aired several times on Thursday, Sept. 4.
The work of the clinic also was featured in the Daily News, in an article on Saturday, Sept. 6. Read the article »
The stories came out of a press conference in East New York, Brooklyn at the offices of Assemblyman Darryl Towns, chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Banks. Common Law attorney Karen Gargamelli explained that 90 percent of New York City homeowners in foreclosure receive default judgments and auction dates without ever raising a defense in court.
“Traditional legal service agencies faced with an onslaught of homeowners pleading for representation lack the resources to deal with the sheer number of homeowners in crisis,” she said. “And private attorneys add insult to injury by requiring exorbitant retainers for their services.”
At the clinic, homeowners listen to the situations faced by nearby residents. At a following meeting, they describe their own situations. Then, experts in foreclosure help them with paperwork so they can represent themselves in court.
Common Law is working on the clinic with CHANGER, a homeowner membership organization that works to end abusive mortgage lending practices in low- and moderate-income communities in the City, and United Community Centers, a neighborhood-based multi-service organization more than 50 years old.
Common Law, Inc. includes Gargamelli, Jay Kim, and Michael Wang. Visit them at www.commonlawnyc.org. Their office is located at the Community Legal Resource Network Incubator, 233 5th Avenue, Suite 4A, New York, NY 10016.
(Photo) Common Law Inc. Attorney Karen Gargamelli and CUNY School of Law graduate (Class of 2007), right, with a woman, left, who is fighting to retain her Brooklyn home.