Foreclosures and Poverty Force Brooklyn Homeowners to Represent Themselves in Court
One could see the list of cases on foreclosures posted right outside the Brooklyn Civil Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are mostly banks like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, and of course the defendants are those homeowners whose properties are about to be foreclosed.
Most of the defendants will be represented in court, surprisingly, by themselves. They would not be represented by a legal counsel but by the cheapest lawyer that they could find – themselves.
According to Sharon Robinson, a homeowner who has been representing herself in the case involving her attempt to seek a loan modification, “I can’t afford a lawyer,” and that she has to do it herself. She also said that the banks were not willing to help.
The housing advocate working with South Brooklyn Legal Services, Laurie Izutsu, who is also a lawyer said that there is only very little that they can do in helping homeowners like Robinson.
Legal Services has been publishing a pamphlet that guides homeowners who are at risk of losing their properties, on how to represent themselves, on a ‘Pro Se’ basis, or one without an attorney. These pamphlets contain information that will be invaluable for those “at-risk” homeowners. The info included are registration deadlines, sample court filings and info on how to prepare a basic legal defense.