Foreclosure and Loan Modification Resources

As the housing crisis evolves, the need for legal assistance to homeowners in or on the verge of foreclosure, as well as tenants in foreclosed properties, will be ongoing. The Office of Legal Services is exploring ways to educate housing advocates about foreclosure prevention and mitigation while encouraging pro bono attorneys to provide much needed legal services for California's distressed homeowners and tenants. 

Attorney Resources

Training Programs
The State Bar's Offices of Legal Services produces MCLE programs for pro bono attorneys in conjunction with the Practising Law Institute (PLI) on topics directly and indirectly related to foreclosure. The Office of Legal Services helped to develop free video training programs that can be found through the Practising Law Institute (PLI). 

Ethics Information
To ask for ethics information, including the parameters of what is permissible in loan modification practice call the Ethics Hotline at 800-238-4427. The hotline is offered by the State Bar's Office of Professional Competence to provide assistance for attorneys in maintaining their professional responsibilities.

Other ethics resources:
Legal Services to Distressed Homeowners and Foreclosure Consultants on Loan Modifications

Prohibition on advance fees:
FAQs regarding Senate Bill No. 94: Prohibition on Advance Fees and Required Notice

Consumer Resources


Complaint About Lawyers

To complain about a lawyer's role in loan modification or to file a complaint about a lawyer contact the Office of Chief Trial Counsel Intake line at 800-843-9053 or at intake@calbar.ca.gov. Some consumers will qualify to file for reimbursement from the Client Security Fund. The Fund reimburses up to $50,000 for money or property lost because a lawyer was dishonest.

Complaints about lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will accept complaints about applying for a mortgage, being approved or denied credit, understanding the loan, making payments, or the process of signing the agreement.

Complaints about real estate brokers

The Department of Real Estate has complaint forms for consumers to file against a business and its owners.

Complaints about scams

The California Office of the Attorney General prosecutes businesses that have engaged in loan modification fraud.

Other Resources

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD has implemented a number of programs to assist homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and otherwise struggling with their monthly mortgage payments, including free assistance with loan modifications.

Past Foreclosure Prevention and Mitigation Forums

In an effort to mitigate the harm to Californians from the foreclosure crisis, the State Bar's Office of Legal Services, in partnership with legal services programs and housing agencies, convened a series of five Foreclosure Prevention and Mitigation Forums throughout Northern and Southern California since 2009:

  • Burbank: December 2009
  • San Francisco: February 2010
  • Fresno: June 2010
  • Ontario: March 2011
  • Sacramento: December 2011
  • San Francisco: April 2013
  • Irvine: April 2013
  • Fresno: May 2013

The purpose of each forum was to provide current foreclosure information to legal services advocates and pro bono attorneys in an effort to equip them with the tools necessary to assist Californians in need of legal assistance. The forums provided legal training on a variety of topics, including foreclosure prevention, loan modification, collaboration, and eviction defense under newly-enacted federal legislation. The forums also provided a unique opportunity for participants to network with colleagues and share ideas about how to mitigate the devastating effect of foreclosure in California communities.

If you are interested in receiving any of the previous forum materials please contact Michael Dayao at michael.dayao@calbar.ca.gov.