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Troubleshooting Mortgage Servicing Problems: Regulatory Responses and Advocacy Approaches 2013

Speaker(s): Annette Kirkham, Kevin Stein, Lisa Sitkin, Maeve Elise Brown, Noah Zinner
Recorded on: Dec. 16, 2013
PLI Program #: 43458

Lisa Sitkin is Managing Attorney at Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA). She has been practicing law since 1997. Prior to joining HERA, Ms. Sitkin litigated civil rights, media law, intellectual property and advertising cases and provided advice and counseling to reporters, publishers, businesses and individuals. At HERA, Ms. Sitkin counsels individual clients, serves as a consumer advocate with lenders, loan servicers and legislative bodies, and assists with mortgage servicing, predatory and unfair lending litigation. Since joining HERA, Ms. Sitkin has conducted numerous workshops and trainings regarding mortgages, foreclosures, loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams, including programs produced by the Practicing Law Institute and the National Consumer Law Center. Ms. Sitkin has also testified many times before the California State Legislature and other governmental bodies regarding mortgage servicing and foreclosure. She was one of the original drafters of the bill that ultimately became the California Homeowner Bill of Rights.

Noah Zinner is a Senior Attorney at Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA). He is a 2006 graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law. Following law school, Mr. Zinner received an Equal Justice Works fellowship to work on predatory mortgage lending issues with HERA and Bay Area Legal Aid, and has worked with HERA since that time. Mr. Zinner has represented clients in cases dealing with mortgage fraud, loan servicing abuses, financial elder abuse, unfair debt collection, housing discrimination, and eviction. From 2012-2013, Noah was a Visiting Clinical Professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, where he also worked with the California Monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement.

Annette Kirkham is a Senior Attorney with the Fair Housing Law Project, a project of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. Annette has been litigating fair housing and lending cases since 2004, including multiple published court cases regarding the federal Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and California's Translation Act statute. Annette has also represented seniors and people with disabilities with respect to nursing home evictions, HIV-discrimination in residential care facilities for the elderly, and a variety of other issues in licensed care settings. Prior to joining the Fair Housing Law Project, Annette was a housing attorney at Mental Health Advocacy Project.

Kevin Stein is Associate Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC). CRC is a statewide membership organization of three hundred nonprofit organizations and public agencies that advocates with financial institutions for increased lending, investment, and financial services to low income communities and communities of color. At CRC, Kevin works on banking and housing issues, including efforts to fight predatory mortgage lending and foreclosure through negotiation with banks, regulatory and legislative advocacy, public education, support for local initiatives, and action research. Kevin is the primary author of several CRC reports relating to subprime lending, foreclosure, loan modification and access to credit.

Before coming to CRC, Kevin was Supervising Attorney at the East Palo Alto Community Law Project and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, working on community economic development issues. Prior to that, he worked at HomeBase, a law and social policy center on homelessness. Kevin is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and Stanford University. Kevin was a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council in 2011, and currently sits on the board of directors of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA).

Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director and a founder of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), manages operations, supervises staff and participates in the organization’s substantive work.  Her years of experience as a public interest attorney include litigation and administrative advocacy on behalf of tenants and homeowners, public benefits advocacy, community organizing, fair housing advocacy, community workshops, and trainings and technical assistance for professionals.  Ms. Brown has published articles on affordable housing issues, designed and teaches a course on mortgage lending and homeownership at UC Berkeley School of Law and is vice-chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board.