Contemporary Issues in Economic Justice and Foreclosure Mediation Experiential Learning
J.D. Course 141
| 3 credit hours
The course will be concerned with the subprime mortgage crisis and the governmental response to repair the damage done to both the financial sector and the broader economy. The primary focus of our course work during this semester will be an in depth exploration of the systematic problems in origination, distribution and foreclosure of home mortgages in the United States.
We will focus special attention on the “foreclosure crisis” that includes widespread failures to meet legal requirements for compliance with local land recording rules and ancient rules for the negotiation and transfer of promissory notes.
One credit hour will be assigned to the experiential learning component of this course for the field work, which will be supervised representation of 3 borrowers in DC foreclosure mediation proceedings.
The field work will provide an essential link for students to experience the reality of economic and social inequality in home ownership and housing finance. Students will have the opportunity to:
• Observe the financial profile of borrowers in deult.
• Observe the relationship between the patterns of residential segregation and the distribution of subprime loans.
• Examine the non-mortgage wealth holding patterns of defaulting borrow.
• Collect data and impressions about the terms of home mortgages that a in default.
• Collect data and impressions about the behavior and good faith participation of lenders in the new D.C. foreclosure mediation program.
• Assess the effectiveness of the statute and regulations governing the foreclosure mediation process.
Students will be required to keep a journal of experiences about representation of homeowners in mediation and will share self-selected entries on Courseware with other members of the course.
The reading will be drawn from Jordan and Harris, Economic Justice: When Markets Fail: Race and Economics (Foundation Press, Second Edition, 2011) and A Federal Reserve study, Synopses of Selected Research on Housing, Mortgages, and Foreclosures ( 2008), Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report (2011). Gramlich: Subprime Mortgages: America’s Latest Boom and Bust (2007)
Students may not concurrently enroll in this seminar and an externship or a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course.
Students who wish to receive credit for the Externship Seminar and an experiential learning course that has the same field placement may do so only if: (1) the experiential learning course is taken in a semester following the Externship Seminar; and (2) the student receives permission from the Assistant or the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. To receive such permission, the student must explain in writing how the experiential learning course field work would serve substantially different learning goals than did their externship field placement. THIS IS AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING COURSE. This is a 3 credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the 2-hour weekly seminar and 1 credit will be awarded for approximately 5 hours of supervised work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. The seminar portion will be graded. The 1 credit of supervised work is mandatory pass/fail and counts toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the supervised work.
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