Harvard Law School

Organisation: 
Harvard Law School
Amount: 
USD 2,140,595
Purpose: 

To support the “Project No-One Leaves”
partnership, which uses a variety of
approaches to help families in Boston
who are facing foreclosure remain in their
homes. The partners involved in the project
are Harvard Law School, Greater Boston
Legal Services, City Life/Vida Urbana and
Boston Community Capital.

Programme: 
Housing and Homelessness
Sub-programme: 
PREVENTION
Country: 
United States
Year Awarded: 
2011
Start Date: 
01-Jul-11
End Date: 
30-Jun-15
Duration: 
49 months
Grant Number: 
OUSA-11-014

Mohamed Nour, a cab driver, and his family live in Revere, a town north of Boston. Mr Nour bought his home for USD 333,500 in 2004 when prices were at their highest. He secured an adjustable rate mortgage from a “predatory lender”.

 

Mohamed Nour with fellow campaigners.

 

A few years after he bought his home, his son Pheras was diagnosed with a brain tumour. At the same time, the loan payments adjusted and his monthly payments skyrocketed. In an attempt to make the loan more affordable, Mr Nour refinanced his mortgage with a bank that has subsequently failed. Due to the stress of caring for his young son and dealing with the shock of the diagnosis and treatment, Mr Nour fell behind with his payments. Although he tried to modify his loan many times, the bank would not negotiate with him.

 

Up to this point, Mr Nour’s story was similar to that of millions of other American homeowners – stonewalled by the bank and without a lawyer, Mr Nour seemingly had no options. Then he discovered CityLife/VidaUrbana, an activist group which is a partner in Project No One Leaves, an Oak grantee. Through the partnership, Mr Nour was able to secure legal representation in court from Greater Boston Legal Services, and another partner organisation, Boston Community Capital (BCC), negotiated on his behalf with the bank holding his loan. After several months, BCC was able to buy Mr Nour’s home from the holding bank for its current value of USD 150,000.

 

In April 2012 Mr Nour will formally buy back his home from BCC. His court case has now been dismissed, his home is secure and his repayments are greatly reduced.

 

Since winning his home back, Mr Nour has continued to attend local meetings to offer his support and expertise to other

 

From our Annual Report 2011, page 48