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Nassau Bar wins national award

Standing outside the front door of the Nassau

Standing outside the front door of the Nassau County Bar Association’s headquarters in Mineola with the national trophy awarded for the Mortgage Foreclosure Pro Bono Project are supporters and coordinators of Nassau County Bar Association’s efforts to help homeowners in foreclosure distress: (first row, from l.) NCBA Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force Co-Chair Martha Krisel (Rockville Centre), NCBA Director of Pro Bono Attorney Activities Gale D. Berg (Rockville Center); NCBA Past President Lance Clarke (Hempstead); (second row, from l.) NCBA Executive Director Deena Ehrlich (Jericho), NCBA President Susan Katz Richman (Merrick), (back row, from l.) NCBA Director of Marketing and PR Valerie Zurblis (Huntington), NCBA Past President Emily Franchina (Huntington Bay), NCBA Administrator of Community Relations and Public Education Caryle Katz (Oceanside), and NCBA Past President Peter Levy (Jericho). Photo Credit: Nassau Bar Association

The Nassau County Bar Association has won a national award for its foreclosure prevention efforts, from its one-stop monthly clinic to pro bono representation of homeowners in court.

The LexisNexis Community and Education Outreach Award comes from the National Association of Bar Executives, an affiliate of the American Bar Association. The prize was for the category of local bar associations with more than 5,000 members, and the criteria takes into account the program’s effectiveness and originality.

“While we may not resolve every issue in a single meeting, people leave here with a greater awareness their options,” said Susan Katz Richman, president of the Nassau County Bar Association. “Knowing that we are here to help alleviates their fear of losing their homes.”

More than 3,500 families have used the Mortgage Foreclosure Pro Bono Project, bar officials said.

The monthly foreclosure prevention clinic, which started in early 2009, is a sort of free, one-stop consultation center that now has interpreters in several languages, bankruptcy attorneys, nonprofit housing counselors, Nassau County Homeownership Center and Nassau/Suffolk Law Services. Pro bono representation in court started in April of last year, with attorneys sitting in the back of the foreclosure courtroom at State Supreme Court in Mineola, ready to represent homeowners at mandated foreclosure conferences between the lender, borrower and court officials.

The bar was the first in the state to launch programs for distressed homeowners who didn’t know where to get help or whom to trust in keeping their homes.

The next foreclosure prevention clinic will be on Oct. 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the association’s offices in Mineola, 15th and West streets. Reservations can be made at 516-747-4070.

Above are members involved in the winning of the award.

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