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New Resource: NCLC's Bankruptcy Mortgage Project

posted by Jean Braucher

The National Consumer Law Center has launched a useful new resource for the bankruptcy community called the Bankruptcy Mortgage Project. See here. Those likely to find it handy include judges, consumers, trustees, mortgage servicers, attorneys, and academics. The website, created with a grant from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Endowment for Education, collects all sorts of documents related to mortgage issues in consumer bankruptcy cases. It thus provides easy, free access to various local rules, forms, general orders, and court opinions.

The site collects documents in five categories: loss mitigation and mediation, cure plan requirements, stay relief requirements, lien stripping, and Chapter 13 plans.

Anyone can access documents for free. But a caution: consumers who peruse the site should quickly get a sense of why they need a lawyer, and a consumer bankruptcy specialist in particular, if they want to have a decent chance at trying to save a home in bankruptcy. It’s complicated!

A nice feature of this resource allows search by state or circuit. The inclusion of pdf files of court cases could help save on research costs for attorneys and their clients and provide a starting point for finding relevant cases on a variety of mortgage-related issues that arise in bankruptcy.

Academics may find the site useful for research into local practices. The phenomenon of “local legal culture” in bankruptcy has many new twists as result of the mortgage crisis, and the inclusion of local rules, orders, and model plans gives a window into quite a few of them.

NCLC plans to periodically update the website and encourages individuals to review the documents in their district and inform it of any omissions. Additional documents identified through this process will be added. Those with any feedback on the website should contact NCLC Attorney John Rao at jrao@nclc.org.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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