Legal Aid

Ohio Offers Free Legal Services for Homeowners Facing Forclosure

  • Print

As home foreclosure rates continue to reach record levels, Ohio’s political leaders are supporting a program that offers free legal representation to Ohioans making below $54,000 a year for a family of four and are in danger of losing their homes.

The Save the Dream program involves a network of some 1,100 lawyers across the state who were recruited by politicians, including the state’s governor, Chief Justice Tom Moyer, Attorney General Marc Dann and Rob Ware, president of the Ohio Bar Association.

Gov. Ted Strickland announced the program Tuesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Ohio Supreme Court collected data showing that more than 83,000 foreclosures were filed during 2007, a state record, the paper notes.

Chief Justice Moyer says lawyers can help by reworking loan terms or helping represent the homeowner in mediation.

But the program isn’t without its critics. Bill Faith, who heads the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio, told the paper he supports the program, but wonders whether volunteer lawyers will be able to manage highly specialized mortgage documents.

“Getting more lawyers to help on foreclosures is a big priority,” Faith says. “In all honesty, though, I’m nervous about whether they are going to be able to pull it off.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.