Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Urban Development Law Clinic Spotlighted On National Public Radio
From Kermit Lind at Cleveland State:
A broadcast on NPR today features a matter in which the UDLC is involved. It can be heard at . The story by WCPN Ideastream's Mhari Saito describes the real estate scams by Go Invest Wisely, a Utah based firm bilking both investors and home-buyers out of money with house-flipping schemes.Sunny Nixon, 3L, is a Fellow in a special UDLC fellowship program. She and Robert Hern, 3L, are appointed for a year to provide legal assistance to defendants in Cleveland's Housing Court who have a defect in the title to their house. Ms. Nixon has a client, Tania Kirkwood, who was featured in the broadcast as a Cleveland victim of Go Invest Wisely. Details of how home-buyers like Ms. Kirkwood, and investors from the U.S. and Canada were bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars can be found in the broadcast. A transcript of the story is available at the WCPN web site.
This story not at all uncommon in Cleveland and the UDLC has had several like it referred for legal assistance. By the time the buyers of what they expect to be the fulfillment of the American Dream get to a lawyer, it is rarely possible to rescue the house. It becomes a matter of rescuing the person from the house that has become a trap. In Ms. Kirkwood's case, she was sold a condemned house by an investor in Canada who did not at the time of sale have title to it. After she put all the money she had into it, the house is still in a condition that is unsafe for her to live in. It is scheduled for demolition in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Ms. Kirkwood wanted her story to help others avoid her plight and Ms. Nixon helped Mhari Saito and WCPN with this story. Ms. Saito's coverage of Go Invest Wisely is very extensive with much more information that one broadcast could contain. She, along with Ms. Nixon and Mr. Hern, have become leading experts on how these schemes are exploiting house-hungry people in the Cleveland area.
Jamie Baker Roskie