Harvard Law’s Legal Service Center to Help Stop Foreclosure Crisis in Mattapan

August 7, 2013
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Many residents of communities targeted in the foreclosure crisis are still fighting to hold on to their homes, or get them back. The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School recently launched the Mattapan Initiative, a new anti-foreclosure and eviction-defense program that provides free legal services to homeowners and renters in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan. “People in largely minority communities were really sold bad mortgages,” says attorney Roger Bertling, who oversees the project. “It ended up being a problem for everybody because they were sold mortgages they could not afford and were never going to be able to afford. Our goal is to make sure everybody gets some sort of assistance and hopefully enough assistance required to keep them in their homes.” The Mattapan Initiative received a $415,000 HomeCorps Crisis Response Innovation Grant from the state attorney general’s office. To qualify for the Mattapan Initiative, a borrower or tenant must live, work, or send their children to school in Mattapan. Legal assistance provided through the initiative includes reviews of mortgage documents, loan modification counteroffers, assistance with modification principal reduction offers, and representation to defend against post-foreclosure eviction proceedings.
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