Book Review of the Foreclosure Manual for Judges

By , October 3, 2013 8:30 am

by Jennifer Hill 

The 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath left record numbers of U.S. homeowners facing foreclosure. While the current real estate market seems robust, with reports of bidding wars and rising home prices in the Seattle area, the reality is that as of March 2013, Washington State had experienced a 154 percent increase in foreclosure starts over the previous year. Foreclosures are still happening, and they are accompanied by complicated legal issues that can challenge even experienced legal researchers.

Foreclosure Manual for Judges

Foreclosure Manual for Judges

Washington Appleseed, a non-profit legal advocacy organization working to solve social and economic problems in Washington, recently published the Foreclosure Manual for Judges: A Reference Guide to Foreclosure Law in Washington State. The manual was written to help guide attorneys and judges through the maze of mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure law. Although the target users are attorneys and judges, this guidebook is a great resource for anyone researching mortgage and foreclosure law in Washington.

The manual provides an easy-to-use overview of what would otherwise be an overwhelming amount of information. It covers the basics of real property and also addresses federal and state laws such as Washington’s Foreclosure Fairness Act. It provides guidance on mortgage modification programs such as the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”), as well as several others that might not be as well known, such as the Second Lien Modification Program (“2MP”) and the Principal Reduction Alternative (“PRA”). The contributors and editors are experts in foreclosure and consumer law, and they include several attorneys with the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s publicly-funded legal aid program.

The book is available in PDF format only and can be purchased either for a single user, or with an unlimited group license. A group-licensed book can be delivered out to users directly by the purchaser (by sending copies of the PDF) or it can be maintained on a server. The group license does not restrict simultaneous use, which is a nice feature that adds to the book’s usability.

The table of contents is well organized and easy to browse and the contents are linked so the user can easily jump to specific sections. There are several footnotes which provide the user with additional detail, citing to authoritative sources such as the National Consumer Law Center. Cited websites are also hyperlinked, so the user can go straight to the source by clicking through. There is no index, but the user shouldn’t miss that because the book is keyword/phrase searchable.

The Foreclosure Manual for Judges is a great specialized reference book. It would make an excellent addition to the collection of a public library as well as the collections of firm libraries that support attorneys who practice consumer and real estate law.

2 Responses to “Book Review of the Foreclosure Manual for Judges”

  1. Ron Blewett, Attorney, would like to know the price on “Foreclosure Manual for Judges” and how to go about purchasing the manual for the office library.
    Thank you for your help,
    Melynda Blewett
    208 413-6648; melyndablewett@cableone.net

  2. Newsletter-Blog says:

    Hello Melynda, the title is published by Washington Appleseed – purchase information can be accessed on their website at the following link: http://www.waappleseed.org/#!publications/c1tsl.

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