Butler County ‘Credit Crunch Collaborative’ to be Honored by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation

HARRISBURG (April 30, 2014) — The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation will present its 2014 Louis J. Goffman Award to volunteers of the Butler County Consumer Credit/Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, also known as the Credit Crunch Collaborative.

The award will be presented May 15 during the Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Meeting awards luncheon at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey. Accepting the award will be Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Marilyn Horan, who has overseen development and implementation of the program.

The Goffman Award is named for a late Pennsylvania Bar Association president and recognizes individuals and organizations committed to pro bono support and service.

Since 2010, defendants involved in the program are offered free education seminars, credit counseling, legal counsel, communications with lenders and guidance to apply for appropriate loan modifications and work-out arrangements to prevent foreclosure and consumer credit judgments. Many of the defendants in mortgage foreclosure cases have lost jobs, experienced reductions in income or suffered major life events that have interrupted their ability to meet their financial obligations. Last year alone, more than 60 Butler County residents avoided losing their homes to foreclosure thanks to modification of loans, refinancing, deferment or other steps.

The program is a collaborative effort that includes volunteers from these agencies and organizations: Butler County Bar Association, Butler County Community College, Center for Community Resources, Housing Authority of Butler County, Neighborhood Legal Services Association and United Way of Butler County.

The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, improves the public's understanding of the law and its appreciation of democracy and strives to ensure that citizens, particularly Pennsylvania's most vulnerable, have full access to our legal system. The foundation accomplishes its mission by making grants, seeking financial support from individuals and organizations both within and outside of the legal community, and encouraging bar members to donate their time, talent and expertise in service to the public.