No One Moves! Foreclosure Resistance in Boston

Winter 2010; Source: Harvard Law School Bulletin | The student run organization, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, in league with community group Vida Urbana, have organized Boston-area law students from eight local schools to help prevent foreclosures in some of the poorer communities in Boston.

The project is an interesting collaboration between community members, law students, and a nonprofit organizing group—see a video for a sense of the spirit of the endeavor.

HLAB students research properties that have been newly listed for foreclosure, then canvass door-to-door at those properties. Its strategy includes informing people of their legal rights, direct representation of clients in need, legislative advocacy and pressuring banks to change their tactics.

The results to date? While not everyone has been able to keep their homes, “under pressure by the student advocates and community partners, banks are selling foreclosed-on properties to the tenants or the former homeowners at prices reflecting the current value, which is typically around 50 percent less than the outstanding mortgage.”—Ruth McCambridge