NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York state is taking a new approach to helping homeowners facing foreclosure get a fair fight against their lenders in court.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

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The Legal Aid Society’s Steven Banks says a pilot program will begin in Queens and Orange Counties that will guarantee foreclosure victims free legal representation.

“The new model that the court will be implementing will involve deploying lawyers directly in the courthouse where foreclosure conferences are scheduled, in order to reach more New Yorkers who are facing foreclosures, and New Yorkers are certainly facing foreclosures in record numbers,” Banks told WCBS 880 reporter Monica Miller.

Banks says while foreclosures are handled in the civil courts, the process of fighting a lender alone can be overwhelming and expensive.

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New York state has roughly 80,000 active foreclosure cases in its courts.

Banks says, “I think it’s certainly part of a series of initiatives that the chief judge is proceeding with to try to address the most vulnerable among us who are suffering greatly in the economic downturn.”

The Legal Aid Society can be reached at 212-577-3300.

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