AKRON, Ohio — It's a scary reality that thousands of people face each year-- not having enough money to pay the the mortgage.
In Summit County, a new free program will launch next week aimed at helping residents who are staring at the possibility of foreclosure.
The program named "Summit County Save Your Home" is a partnership between the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Community Legal Aid and the Akron-Summit County Library.
The initiative will offer a free educational course to Summit County residents facing foreclosure. The course will cover topics such as loan modification programs, the foreclosure process, bankruptcy and other strategies for keeping your home.
The first course will be offered on July 10 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. at the Akron-Summit County Library Norton Branch. Courses will continue to be offered twice a month at various library locations.
Judge Amy Corrigall Jones said while foreclosure rates have declined since the peak of the crisis a decade ago, it remains a significant problem in Summit County.
She said foreclosure cases make up about one-quarter of the entire court's docket. Court officials also said about 10,000 foreclosure filings have been filed over the past five years.
"Not only is it a significant issue across the county, but in the more urban and low income areas, there are people suffering from this every day. Not only does it affect the home homeowners themselves, (but) their neighbors, the local neighborhoods, (and) our schools," Corrigall Jones said.
Steven McGarrity, the executive director of Community Legal Aid, stressed a goal of the program is to create equity in the community.
"The main purpose of the class is to get people ready for the mediation process. The court system is not designed for people who don't have attorneys, and so they walk into the court and they have no idea what to do when they get here," McGarrity said. "Our objective is to train them on everything they need to know."
To learn more about the program, visit communitylegalaid.org or call call Legal Aid at 800-998-9545. Residents can also stop by the Summit County Courthouse for more information.