Archives for February 2012

How Will the Mortgage Settlement Affect Distressed Homeowners?

49 state attorney’s general have reached a landmark agreement with 5 of the nation’s top loan servicers (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Ally/GMAC).  The settlement will provide up to 25 billion dollars in relief to distressed borrowers and direct payments to states and the federal government.

The agreement settles state and federal investigations finding that the loan servicers routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct.  Both of these practices violate the law.

The settlement provides benefits to borrowers in the signing states whose loans are owned by the settling banks as well as to many of the borrowers whose loans they service.

Homeowners whose primary residence was part of a foreclosure action between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, and whose home loan was serviced by a participating servicer, may be eligible for an Independent Foreclosure Review.  

To find out more information regarding how this settlement may affect borrowers or how to find out if you qualify for assistance, check out the new National Mortgage Settlement website, and/or read the press release from the NH Attorney General’s office.

If your home is in foreclosure, an attorney may be able to assist you.  Call the Lawyer Referral Service today at 603-229-0002 for a referral to a competent lawyer who specifically handles foreclosure matters in New Hampshire, or request an online referral.   A consultation with an attorney could make all the difference!


Did Delayed 911 Response Contribute to Man’s Death?

When Joyce Collins of Brookline, NH dialed 911 for her husband James Collins, the police officer on duty was at the Communications Center in Hollis and did not have the automated external defibrillator with him as was his department’s protocol.  As a result, the officer had to return to the police station to retrieve the AED before going to the Collins’ residence, delaying potential lifesaving treatment for James Collins, who died of an apparent heart attack.

Police protocol requires an officer to place the department AED in the cruiser at the start of the shift and to run through a checklist that includes the AED, flares, batteries, weapon, and other items, before leaving the station.

Read the entire story by Hattie Bernstein, Staff Writer at the Nashua Telegraph.

Perhaps it will never become clear whether Mr. Collins’ life could have been saved in this instance; however, the uncertainty alone can plague survivors and add to their sorrow.  In a case where wrongful death is suspected due to the actions or inactions of another, a consultation with an attorney can help alleviate doubt and clarify legal options.   The Lawyer Referral Service of the NH Bar Association can help by referring you to competent and experienced attorneys to review your case and go over your options.  Call LRS at (603) 229-0002 or request an online referral.

Eyewitness Misidentification Main Reason for Wrongful Conviction

Partially due to the DNA exoneration of hundreds of convicts in recent decades, there has been increasing concern over the reliability of eyewitness identification in criminal cases.

The Innocence Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to freeing the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing and to criminal justice system reform, has helped win freedom for nearly 300 prisoners in 35 states — including 17 who spent time on death rows — in its 20 years of existence.

In 75 percent of those cases, the leading factor in their convictions was witness identification; in 36 percent of those cases, convictions were in part based on an identification made by more than one person, said Karen Newirth, eyewitness identification litigation fellow at the Innocence Project.

Read the entire story by Miranda Leitsinger at

If you have been accused of a crime, a competent and experienced attorney can make all the difference.  LRS attorneys must meet certain education and experience standards in order to receive referrals for felony matters.  Call LRS today at 603-229-0002 or request an online referral.


NH to Join Settlement Over Foreclosure Abuses

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney and Commissioner Ronald A. Wilbur of the New Hampshire Banking Department will be holding a press briefing this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.,  regarding the recently announced $25 billion state/federal mortgage servicing settlement.  The briefing will include a detailed explanation of the proposed terms of the settlement and New Hampshire’s decision to join.

The nationwide settlement stems from abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. Many companies that process foreclosures failed to verify documents. Some employees signed papers they hadn’t read or used fake signatures to speed foreclosures — an action known as robo-signing.

The deal would be the biggest involving a single industry since a 1998 multistate tobacco deal. It would force the five largest mortgage lenders to reduce loans for about 1 million households.

Read the entire story by Julie Smidt, in USA Today

If you believe your home was illegally foreclosed on, the Lawyer Referral Service of the NH Bar Association can help by referring you to a competent attorney who specifically handles this type of legal matter.  Call 603-229-0002 or request an online referral.