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BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and several legal organizations launched a foreclosure hotline for low-income state residents facing foreclosure. The Legal Advocacy and Resource Center will screen calls made to the hotline and refer eligible homeowners to the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association. In June, the Attorney General’s office held a foreclosure training session for 150 lawyers, along with paralegals, law students and housing advocates to prepare lawyers for the cases. The agency is also working with bar associations and legal services groups to find additional volunteer lawyers for the pro bono foreclosure cases. On June 1, the Attorney General’s office issued 90-day emergency regulations under the state’s Consumer Protection Act to ban for-profit foreclosure rescue schemes. The spike in foreclosures, and in fraudulent “rescue” schemes that target homeowners facing potential foreclosure, prompted the Attorney General’s multi-faceted response. In May, 2,136 foreclosure procedure were started in Massachusetts, making it the eighth consecutive month with more than 2,000 foreclosures in the state, according to Framingham, Mass.-based foreclosure data company ForeclosuresMass.com.

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