“Addressing consumer issues at a systemic level is at the very heart of a career objective I have had since law school. I have always wanted to work in the public’s interest. I pursued that goal at the ACLU, as a lawyer for the City of Philadelphia, as a legal services attorney, as a fellow at NCLC in 2008, and in my current role as the statewide consumer and foreclosure attorney of the Michigan Poverty Law Program. While at NCLC, I was encouraged to think about, and work toward our shared vision of policy changes that will affect hundreds of people at once and improve the system in their favor. Skills and knowledge I acquired at NCLC were critical to my ability to eventually develop a statewide foreclosure prevention project in Michigan. During my 18 years at the Michigan Poverty Law Program I have been able to help make major strides in foreclosure prevention for vulnerable people who need a home.
At the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2008 and 2009, many clients were about to lose their homes. We joined forces with other coalitions and advocated changes to foreclosure laws that would provide a 90-day grace period for homeowners to negotiate their respective cases. Eventually the state reverted to the original foreclosure process, but fortunately the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began to require most servicers to wait 120 days to allow for loan modification negotiations before foreclosure. It is a period even longer than what we proposed. NCLC and coalition advocacy changed the standard for how foreclosures are handled at the federal level- a lasting change that affects homeowners’ lives directly.
The fight will never be over, because there will always be more work to be done. Scammers will always reinvent themselves, but I will continue the fight for systemic change in my state to better protect the people I serve.”