FACT SHEET

 

 

  COLLIER COUNTY FORECLOSURE TASK FORCE 

 

 

OVERVIEW OF THE INITIATIVE:

 

A. FORECLOSURE TASK FORCE

  •  Grassroots initiative
  • Foreclosure Task Force (FTF) formed in February of 2008
  • Began as a cooperative effort between Legal Aid Service of Collier County (‘Legal Aid’) and the Collier County Bar Association (‘CCBA’)
  • 100% pro bono initiative
  • Goal - to promote foreclosure prevention in Collier County through education and intervention
  • Key early agency member – Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
  • Many other agencies and volunteers subsequently joined the FTF, including Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida, Inc. - a HUD certified credit and foreclosure intervention counseling agency
  • The FTF has assisted approximately 1,000 homeowners through numerous Workshops, Legal Clinics, and Seminars, and 14,000 visitors to the website it created (www.collierFTF.com)
  • The FTF has been asked by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners to conduct a formal workshop before the Commissioners in March of 2010 to present information on the state of foreclosure activity in Collier County, and recommendations for action   

 

B. STEERING COMMITTEE FOR A COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE CONCERNING FORECLOSED/ABANDONED HOMES

 

  • Organized, formed and supported through the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
  • Steering Committee formed in July-Aug. 2008
  • Goal - to enhance communication between public, private, business and non-profit agencies (any applicable stakeholders) to formulate a volunteer driven ‘coordinated community response’ to the issues and challenges posed to Collier County by the rising number of foreclosed and abandoned homes in the area
  • To best leverage the limited resources available, promote efficiency, and broaden the scope of future projects, the FTF and Steering Committee ‘merged’ in January, 2009  

C. LEADERSHIP

 

  • Legal Aid Service of Collier County’s (LASCC) Pro Bono Coordinator and Development Officer, Jeffrey Ahren, has served as Chairman of the Task Force since its inception
  • Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, Esq., past President of the Collier County Bar Association, serves as Co-Chair of the FTF
  • A core group of founding attorneys and others serve on the FTF ‘working group’- which collectively plans the activities and outreach efforts of the initiative
  • Executive Committee formed in 2010 to plan and administer special projects  

D. AWARDS AND ACCOLADES

 

  • October 2009 – Proclamation honoring the pro bono service of the FTF by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners
  • December 2009 – Proclamation by the Mayor and City of Naples honoring the FTF’s service to the community
  • December 2009 – Attorney members of the FTF’s ‘working group’ each given a ‘Special Recognition Award’ by the Collier County Women’s Bar Association
  • December 2009 – FTF Co- Chairman and Past CCBA President Kathleen Passidomo, Esq., awarded The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 20th Judicial Circuit for her work on the FTF
  • November 2009 – Jefferson Award for public service – awarded to Bob Murray, FTF Executive Committee and Working Group member since 2008, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce – Alliance   

E. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION AND SUPPORT  

The FTF enjoys widespread support among the key public, private and non-profit agencies in Collier County – particularly agencies who are ‘stakeholders’ concerning the issues the FTF has been formed to address.  These agencies include governmental agencies, business groups, and other non-profit agencies performing mental health and social service work in the community.  In addition to LASCC and the CCBA, the longstanding support of the greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has been particularly important. 

 

 

 

Participating agencies include:* 

Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce 

Collier County Bar Association 

Legal Aid Service of Collier County 

Collier County Code Enforcement 

Collier County Sheriff’s Office 

Collier County Clerk’s Office 

Collier County Courts 

Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida, Inc. 

Naples Area Board of REALTORS® 

City of Naples Code Enforcement 

Collier County School District/Collier County Public Schools 

EK Consulting, Inc. 

David Lawrence Center 

Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida 

Chamber Alliance – Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce 

Collier County Housing and Human Services 

Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce 

Marco Island Area Association of REALTORS® 

SCORE – Naples   

* This list is not comprehensive, as the initiative is supported by many other individuals and agencies

 

 

I. PAST PROJECTS

 

May 2008 - ‘Save Your Home’ Workshop

  • Conducted at Max Hasse Community Center in Golden Gate Estates
  • Free foreclosure workshop open to the public
  • Panel of experts on foreclosure related topics (including short sales, loan modifications, bankruptcy, and the foreclosure process in general)
  • Panel included attorneys and a local Magistrate
  • Free 25 page booklet of resources disseminated to all attendees
  • Over 100 members of the public attended the event 

 

 

 

June 2008 - Free clinic featuring certified foreclosure intervention counselors 

  • Conducted at Legal Aid office in Naples
  • HUD certified credit and foreclosure intervention counselors provided free individualized counseling sessions to over 20 homeowners  

July 2008 - Pro Bono Foreclosure Law Clinic  

  • Over 25 pro bono attorneys specializing in real estate, foreclosure law and bankruptcy law participated
  • More than 80 homeowners received free individualized advice and counsel at the clinic
  • Approximately 150 individual counseling sessions in total were conducted
  • Event conducted at Legal Aid’s office in Naples
  • Certified real estate appraiser present
  • Each attendee screened by a certified credit and foreclosure intervention counselor as to the potential for loan modification based on current financial circumstances  

Foreclosure Task Force Website

  • Created in May of 2008 - www.collierFTF.com
  • Contains links to many helpful resources (local, state and national) regarding foreclosure prevention
  • Multimedia - contains hours of video (including entire May 2008 workshop)
  • Has been visited by over 10,000 people to date  

November 2008 Foreclosure Seminar 

  • Sponsored by the Naples Chamber
  • Conducted by the Steering Committee (in conjunction with the FTF)
  • Location - Moorings Presbyterian Church
  • More than 200 attendees received a wide variety of information on foreclosure prevention, how to avoid foreclosure rescue scams, and the innovative programs launched by Collier County Code Enforcement and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to stabilize the community  

May 2009 Free Foreclosure Workshop 

  • Conducted on May 13, 2009 at Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) Offices
  • Attended by an estimated 250 - 300 members of the public
  • Pro Bono Attorneys and a host of other professionals and participating agencies furnished free information on foreclosure prevention and related topics to all attendees
  • 25 pages of free literature on foreclosure prevention and local resources distributed to all attendees
  • All attendees had the opportunity to obtain general legal information from the pro bono volunteers in small groups organized by topic and specialty  

July 2009 – Foreclosure Task Force participates in Housing Workshop by Florida Dept. of Financial Services 

  • Conducted at Edison State College
  • Pro Bono attorney members of the Task Force provided advice and counsel to homeowners at-risk of foreclosure  

September 2009 – Pro Bono Foreclosure Law Clinic at Legal Aid 

  • Conducted at the offices of Legal Aid in Naples
  • Attended by approximately 75 homeowners, who each received individual advice and counsel sessions with pro bono attorneys
  • Over 25 attorneys volunteered on a Saturday morning for this event  

November 9, 2009 – Free Foreclosure Workshop at Gulf Coast High School 

  • Pro Bono attorneys and other professionals and a host of private, public and non-profit agencies furnished free information and answered general questions on a host of foreclosure related topics
  • Over 200 attendees participated in post-event exit polling by a consulting firm, which revealed a satisfaction rate of over 98%  

February 17, 2010 – Pro Bono Foreclosure Law Clinic – Legal Aid, Naples 

 

  • FTF Attorneys provided individualized advice and counsel to client homeowners at risk of foreclosure – approximately 30 individual sessions.
  • HUD certified foreclosure intervention counselors furnished by Housing Development Corp. of SW Florida also participated, and assisted homeowners with loan modification applications. 

June 30, 2010 – Public Policy Forum – Southern Regional Library, Naples 

  • Comprehensive, free seminar and forum presented by expert panelists on the latest issues and developments in foreclosure related legal matters.
  • Topics included updates on the Federal homeowner assistance programs (including HAFA and HAMP), foreclosure and condo associations, tenants rights in foreclosure, best practices for homeowners, foreclosure rescue scams, understanding the loan modification process,  tips for realtors to avoid the unlawful practice of law (UPL), overview of the short sale process, timelines for foreclosure, bankruptcy law, and mediation in foreclosure.  

May 19, 2011 – Free Foreclosure Workshop – NABOR office, Naples 

  • Pro Bono attorneys and other professionals and a host of private, public and non-profit agencies furnished free information and answered general questions on a host of foreclosure related topics.
  • Agency resources included a host of local public, private and non-profit agencies (including all agency members of the FTF), Fannie Mae, Internal Revenue Service, and many major lender-servicers including Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and more.
  • “Case studies” on hot topics in foreclosure were presented by the expert panelist members of the Task Force.  The event was videotaped and will be made available online as a community resource.
  • Estimated attendance – approximately 200. 

 

II. OTHER PROJECTS 

Foreclosure Workshop Presentation before the Collier County Board of County Commissioners – March 2, 2010 

  • At the invitation of the BCC, the FTF conducted a formal 3 hour ‘workshop session’ before the full panel of the Commissioners
  • The comprehensive presentation included updates on the local economy, residential and commercial real estate market and foreclosure activity, the FTF’s response to the crisis, and recommendations to the policy makers
  • Presentation materials gathered after extensive due diligence and fact gathering through meetings/contact with all relevant local stakeholders
  • Recommendations included the formation of a new, ad hoc Task Force comprised of key local private sector stakeholders to globally address what can be done on a local level to foster economic recovery and job growth – “Economic Recovery Task Force” (ERTF)
  • The BCC subsequently unanimously endorsed the formation of the ERTF – which the FTF volunteered to perform the mechanics needed to form this new entity
  • Powerpoint presentation from the March 2nd Workshop available for download
  • Video of the Workshop has been archived on the County website, and was originally broadcast live on Ch. 97 in Collier County
  • Subsequent requests by the BCC sought guidance on pending state legislation on foreclosure issues, and members of the FTF individually submitted ‘guiding principles’ which were ultimately adopted by the Commissioners and presented by letter to the Florida Senate and House of Representatives  

Matrix of Resources on Foreclosure 

  • Concept - to provide a comprehensive and current list of safe and reliable resources targeted for individuals at-risk of foreclosure
  • This brochure has been produced in English, Spanish and Creole
  • Utilization of a ‘holistic’ approach to the possible needs of each individual using the literature
  • The “Matrix’ was completed in the Spring of 2009, and has been disseminated throughout the County in pamphlet format, and online  

Mediation Sub-Committee formed 

  • Since mid-2008, the Task Force’s Mediation Sub-committee has met on a weekly basis to develop a protocol for the mediation of foreclosure cases in Collier County
  • The Sub-Committee has worked closely with the local judiciary on this project
  • In 2009, this Sub-Committee submitted a formal report containing recommendations to the Florida Supreme Court, which included the report in the record of the State-wide Task Force on Foreclosure appointed by the Supreme Court
  • On December 28, 2009, the Florida Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order concerning the Case Management and Mediation of foreclosure cases in Florida state courts – which adopted many of the recommendations advanced by the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force Mediation Sub-Committee  

Free foreclosure support group formed 

  • Every Tuesday evenings at the Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida offices
  • Facilitated by a qualified mental health professional
  • Interested parties can contact (239) 261-5405

 

Terms of Use              Privacy Policy           Copyright, Trademarks and Disclaimer

© 2008 Collier County Bar Association, Inc.