“My clients are Philadelphia homeowners of modest means, many of whom have owned their homes for years. Philly has a strong tradition of homeownership among low income people — one of the highest in the country — so I take pride in enforcing consumer laws to assure people keep their homes.

This responsibility and loyalty to my clients used to paralyze me with fear thinking that people who depend on me could lose their homes, but I feel a stronger obligation to remain by my clients — and in almost every case, we are able to save the home. Even when we can’t, we figure out a resolution that eases their transition to other housing.

It means everything to my clients that I represent them and enforce their legal rights, and I see how it changes their lives. I often still get calls from past clients who just want to tell me they’re doing better. I had a client a few years back who I represented in three foreclosure cases in a row. She had been unemployed for several years after the financial collapse, but was doing everything right to try to get a loan modification. She had been through so much heartbreak, but we stuck it out with her all the way through. The first foreclosure was dismissed the day of her trial when the mortgage representative failed to show. After that we got her a trial modification that was canceled after the mortgage company deposited her check early, bounced the payment and didn’t notify her. The second foreclosure was dismissed because the mortgage company failed to send a required pre-foreclosure notice. I defended the third foreclosure based on the mortgage company messing up her trial modification, and while it was pending, she got a full time job and qualified for a permanent loan modification. She had finally won! It was a combination of raising her legal defenses, but also just sticking it out with her until her situation could improve. It took four and a half years, but she got to keep her home, and now is fully employed.

She called recently to wish me a Happy New Year. Sometimes that’s all it takes to remind myself that the fear is nothing compared to the reward.”