Tampa, FL – A Cy Pres Award from the James Hoyer Law Firm will make it possible for Bay Area Legal Services to continue helping low income homeowners facing foreclosure. The nearly $40,000 donation comes as the result of predatory lending matters handled by the firm. “Predatory lending practices– like failing to disclose loan terms, inflating appraisals and charging excessive fees, were at the core of this country’s mortgage meltdown,” said Chris Hoyer, founding partner of the firm. “This money will help a very worthy organization provide legal assistance to homeowners still trying to deal with the mess that was created.”
The award will help Bay Area Legal Services continue its advocacy for desperate homeowners facing foreclosure in the Tampa Bay area. BALS has long provided legal aid to low income residents, but this year has been a tough one, due to unprecedented funding cuts in these difficult financial times. “This comes at a critical time for BALS as we are determined to continue our mission of helping struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. This Cy Pres award will make a real difference in the lives of real people who need help. We are very grateful to accept it on behalf of the citizens who will be assisted,” said Luis “Tony” Cabassa, BALS Board President.
Cy Pres awards are residual funds from class action settlements that for a variety of reasons cannot be distributed to class members. The purpose of the award is to give that money to a charitable organization with a cause that reflects the intent of the settlement.
The need for foreclosure help in Florida is great. The state has the 6th highest foreclosure rate in the nation with a nine-percent foreclosure rate statewide, according to recent data released by RealtyTrac. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area fares even worse, with a 111 percent increase in foreclosure activity this past year. “It’s clear this crisis isn’t over yet. We’re glad to be able to help homeowners in some small way to contend with the foreclosures haunting our community,” Hoyer said.
Play the video below to see the presentation.
After a welcome by James Hoyer Communications Director Angie Moreschi, Chris Hoyer presented the check to Bay Area Legal Services at the firm’s main office in Tampa. BALS Board President Luis “Tony” Cabassa graciously accepted. Also in attendance were BALS Deputy Director Joan Boles, Managing Partner of BALS Housing & Consumer Unit Tom DiFiore and several members of the James Hoyer Law Firm who have worked on predatory lending cases. Click here for more information about BALS.