ALBUQUERQUE ― New Mexico has received $3.3 million to help provide legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.
The money is from a 2014 settlement with Bank of America and its subsidiaries over mortgage practices. Terms of the settlement restrict use of the money to foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment. In New Mexico, the money will be awarded to legal aid groups based on grant applications. There are about 5,000 open mortgage foreclosure cases in the state.
An independent monitor overseeing the national settlement provides distributions to state-based organizations that help fund non-profit legal aid operations. The share to each state is based on their poverty population.
A committee of the Commission on Access to Justice will review grant applications and recommend award amounts, which are subject to approval by the state Supreme Court. The commission was established by the high court in 2004 to expand and improve civil legal assistance to New Mexicans living in poverty.
The $3.3 million distribution went to the State Bar of New Mexico, which under a Supreme Court rule administers an Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) organization that provides civil legal aid funding from the pooling of interest on lawyers’ trust accounts.
For more information about the settlement distribution, contact Richard Spinello, general counsel, State Bar of New Mexico, 505.797.6050, RSpinello@nmbar.org