The Task Force is forever indebted to those many organizations, individuals, volunteers and others who have made its efforts possible and whose support has been indispensable to its continuing ability to serve its intended purpose: to provide legal services to individual homeowners facing foreclosure. While we commit the unpardonable sin of naming but a few – and by failing to name the many – there are some whose contributions must be acknowledged:
Thomas A. Kennefik, III, Esq., the Past President of the Hampden County Bar Association who was receptive to the concept of the formation of the Foreclosure Task Force, and the subsequent Presidents, Attorneys Mark J. Albano, Charles R. Casartello, Jr. and Barbara M. Hyland and the Boards of Directors of the Association who have unwaveringly supported the activities and efforts of the Task Force and of its partnership with the Alliance. Executive Director Noreen M. Nardi has consistently and unfalteringly participated in the efforts of both the Task Force and the Alliance with a personal dedication to the cooperative efforts between the legal services organizations and the private bar.
Justin H. Dion, Esq., who chaired the Hampden County Bar AssociationŐs Business and Bankruptcy Committee and its successor, the Bankruptcy Section. He has been both an advocate for the work of the Foreclosure Task Force and an untiring hands-on participant as a volunteer.
Gordon P. Shaw, Esq., Executive Director of the Massachusetts Justice Project, Jamie Williamson and her successors at the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Guy Lescault, Esq., formerly Interim Director of MJP and subsequently of Western Mass Legal Services and others from the non-profit constituency that so willing has participated in the unique organizational structure that is the Alliance. Pat Walsh Ollari of WMLS and Michelle LaPlante of the Hampden County Legal Clinic have been stellar in their performance in maintaining efficiency in the intake and referral process that is the essence of what the Task Force has undertaken.
The special relationship with the Massachusetts Bar Association requires an acknowledgement of the indispensable efforts of Attorney Elizabeth Barton and MBA President Denise Squillante who appointed a Massachusetts Bar Association Joint Foreclosure Legislation Task Force. Pat Plasse, of the MBAŐs Western Massachusetts Office has been particularly helpful in implementing a meaningful dialogue.
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) has been supportive of the efforts to provide training and continuing legal education to the Task Force Volunteers by providing scholarships to individuals who have made a commitment to provide bro bono services to qualified homeowners.
Attorney General Martha Coakley is due special acknowledgement for her efforts on behalf of those who had been the victims of predatory lending practices and subject to abusive foreclosure practices and, more specifically, for her making available to WMLS and MJP a special grant that allowed for the hiring of Attorney Francis K. Morris to work with and in support of the Alliance and its purposes.
Mayor Dominic Sarno of Springfield, Gale D. Candaras, Esq. of the Massachusetts Senate and other local, state and federal elected officials have demonstrated their commitment to and support of the efforts of the Task Force.
Finally, we would like to thank E. Bruce Berman, Jr. of Catalyst New Media for his valuable contribution of time and creative effort in designing and implementing the Foreclosure Task Force website and this Home Page.