Albany Law School today held a ribbon cutting for its Tenant Foreclosure Protection Clinic, where students will work with faculty to provide legal services for tenants in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties who are adversely affected by their landlords facing foreclosure.
Albany Law received a $205,000 grant for the clinic through the New York State Subprime Foreclosure Prevention Program, which is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), as part of a comprehensive plan to address the foreclosure crisis in New York state.
"Often tenants can be the forgotten victims in the mortgage crises, and it's heartening for the Capital Region to gain a formidable advocate like Albany Law School in their corner," said Brian Lawlor, Commissioner and CEO of HCR, who joined Albany Law students and faculty at the ribbon cutting. "Services are available free of charge, and I urge tenants who believe they may be impacted to reach out to the clinic for quality legal assistance."
"Tenants often do not know their rights in a foreclosure process," said N.Y. State Assemblymember John J. McEneny (District 104). "This new Clinic will help educate these residents, as well as help them to exercise their rights, a sorely needed service given the rate of foreclosure today."
"There are too many displaced tenants in our cities as a result of the mortgage crisis," said Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings. "The Law School's new Clinic will serve a key constituency in dire need of legal assistance, which, in turn, will strengthen our downtown filled with two-family and multi-family units."
"The new Tenant Foreclosure Protection Clinic is vital to Capital Region residents, but also to our law school students," said Thomas Guernsey, Albany Law School's president and dean. "This kind of Clinic work is an excellent way for students to experience real cases with real clients, as well as sensitize them to community advocacy."
The Tenant Foreclosure Protection Clinic is part of Albany Law School's Law Clinic & Justice Center, where students handle hundreds of cases each year in such areas as civil rights, health law and domestic violence.